Feb 20, 2023
The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Feb. 9 issued a determination that states the U.S. EPA’s June 2022 denial of 69 small refinery exemptions (SREs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard is not a rule, and therefore is not subject to the requirements of the Congressional Review Act.
Sens. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn.; Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.V.; and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., in June 2022 sent a letter to U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro asking him to review whether the EPA’s June 3, 2022, denial of 69 SREs constitutes a rule for the purposes of the CRA. The CRA, signed into law in 1996, requires the GAO to report on major rules that federal agencies make. Federal agencies promulgating rules must submit a copy to both houses of Congress and the GAO before the rules can take effect. The CRA also empowers Congress to overturn rules issued by federal agencies via passage of a joint resolution.
The GAO on Feb. 9 announced it had completed the requested review and issued its decision, concluding that the June 2022 denial qualifies as an order—not a rule—under the CRA because its purpose was to provide the final disposition of particular SRE petitions.
A fully copy of the GAO decision is available on the agency’s website.
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