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American Soybean Association (ASA) reports:

The American Petroleum Institute (API) filed a lawsuit Monday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its decision to require 1.28 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2013.

API and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) also filed petitions directly with EPA asking them to reconsider the 2013 requirement.

The National Biodiesel Board indicated that they are reviewing the lawsuit and the petitions and will vigorously defend the program.

EPA previously denied another AFPM petition for reconsideration of the 2011 cellulosic and advanced biofuel volume requirements, and recently confirmed the biomass-based diesel volumes for 2012/2013 in denying the RFS waiver requests. Any court battle will last well into 2013, which means the volume of 1.28 billion gallons will go into effect on Jan. 1.

The statute creating the RFS mandated minimum annual biomass-based diesel volumes of 1 billion gallons from 2012 through 2022 and gave the EPA discretion to set annual targets higher.

In its petition challenging the decision, AFPM claimed that the decision would increase consumer fuel prices. AFPM also contends that the biomass-based diesel volume requirements will not help U.S. energy security because the country is a net exporter of diesel fuel.

As part of the announcement of the lawsuit and petition, API said it will launch a full-scale effort to repeal the RFS in 2013.

ASA is strongly opposed to efforts to repeal or reduce the biomass-based diesel volume requirements under the RFS.

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