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"Rapid Response Required From Fuel Mixer, DOJ on Alternative Fuel"

February 14, 2022

Peter Lowy quoted in article on "Rapid Response Required From Fuel Mixer, DOJ on Alternative Fuel"

Tax Notes

In a recent Tax Notes article, Pete Lowy, shareholder and Co-Chair of Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s SALT practice, commented on the Fifth Circuit’s directive issued on February 14 in Vitol Inc. v. United States. The parties in the case, involving millions of dollars in excise tax credits, have been instructed to address statutory construction rules and the potential weight of an amendment to the statute governing tax credits for alternative fuel mixtures.

“The panel appears to be wrestling with the weight, if any, that should be given to legislative amendments that resolve ambiguities in the pre-amendment version of a statute that the court is tasked with interpreting,” said Lowy. “The court’s decision on this point could have ramifications to statutory construction analysis that go far beyond the tax credit case it’s deciding.”

Vitol is litigating refund claims for section 6426(e) fuel excise tax credits for mixing butane into traditional gasoline, maintaining that the mixtures qualify as alternative fuel mixtures under the statute. The company, as well as another fuel mixer – Valero, are currently before the Fifth Circuit on appeal after adverse decisions in federal district courts in Texas. In 2021, the Seventh Circuit decided against U.S. Venture in a similar alternative fuel mixture excise tax refund claim case.  

The article is available for subscribers at this link.