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Affordable Bio Feedstock, Inc. v. United States

United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division

June 28, 2017, Decided; June 28, 2017, Filed

Case No: 6:16-cv-1926-Orl-31TBS

Opinion

Order

This matter comes before the Court after a hearing on the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Doc. 26) filed by the Plaintiff, Affordable Bio Feedstock, Inc. ("ABF"), and the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings (Doc. 28) filed by the Defendant, the United States of America (henceforth, the "Government"), as well as the responses and replies to those motions.

I. Background

"Brown Grease" is a cooking byproduct that contains fats, oils, greases, water and other organic matter. It is captured in traps installed in the drain lines of commercial facilities such as restaurants and supermarkets. According to the Plaintiff, In 2010 and 2011 it combined Brown Grease and diesel fuel, refined the mixture [*2]  to remove impurities, and then sold the end product (henceforth, the "Refined Mixture") for use as fuel. (Doc. 26 at 2 n.1).

As described in more detail below, under the federal law that was in effect in those years, producers of what are known as "alternative fuel mixtures" were entitled to a tax credit (henceforth, a "Mixture Credit") of 50 cents for every gallon of alternative fuel used to produce the alternative fuel mixture. ABF claimed (and received) Mixture Credits in 2010 and 2011 in the amount of 50 cents per gallon of the amount of Brown Grease that remained in the Refined Mixture after the refining process - i.e., the net amount. ABF now contends that it is entitled to 50 cents per gallon of the Brown Grease it mixed with diesel fuel before the refining occurred - i.e., the gross amount. On November 3, 2016, ABF filed the instant suit, seeking to recover the additional amount of Mixture Credits to which it now claims entitlement. The Government continues to take the position that the credit should be limited to the net amount.

On January 17, 2017, the Government filed its answer to ABF's complaint. The pleadings are now closed.

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2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115679 *; 120 A.F.T.R.2d (RIA) 2017-5039

AFFORDABLE BIO FEEDSTOCK, INC., Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

CORE TERMS

fuel, mixture, Grease, Refined, diesel fuel, taxpayer, summary judgment, pleadings, producing, mixed, moving party, nonmoving