The AFPM petitioned the EPA on 31st December 2012 to waive the 2012 cellulosic biofuel mandate, citing a lack of domestic supply available for commercial use. The action market the second year in a row that AFPM was forced to file a waiver petition for a non-existent biofuel that EPA has mandated under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The EPA Moderated Transaction System (EMTS) demonstrates that there has been, and continues to be, an inadequate domestic supply of cellulosic biofuel. In 2011, American refineries were required to use 6 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel to meet the EPA established mandate, yet according to EMTS, zero cellulosic biofuel has been produced. To date, just 20 069 gallons have been produced and all were exported. This amount falls far short of the EPA mandated 10.45 million ethanol equivalent gallons. In addition, since the cellulosic that actually was produced was exported, refiners cannot use credits generated from these biofuels for complying with the federal mandate.
If EPA fails to grant the waiver, refiners will be forced to pay several million dollars for a product that does not exist. This hidden tax on the refining industry disadvantages fuel consumers and is not what Congress intended when it incorporated the waiver provisions into the RFS.
‘EPA’s ambitious timeline for introducing cellulosic biofuel into the fuel supply market continues to be unrealistic despite billions in incentives to renewable fuel producers,’ said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna. ‘Congress foresaw that the aggressive renewable fuel standards might be unattainable and established several waiver provisions in the Clean Air Act including for inadequate domestic supply. If zero production doesn’t meet the definition of inadequate, then it is time for Congress to reexamine the entire RFS and its failure to produce their desired results.’
While the Clean Air Act requires EPA to act on the petition for waiver within 90 days, AFPM requested that the agency move expeditiously given that the compliance period for refiners ends on February 28th 2013 and cellulosic biofuel waiver credits for 2012 must be purchased on or before that date.
Adapted from Press Release by Claira Lloyd.
Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/gas-processing/02012013/cellulosic_biofuel_mandate_932/