Skip to main content

RFS legislation modification

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Common sense will prevail if Congress passes legislation to modify the RFS. The Phantom Fuels Reform Act of 2013, introduced today by Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), David Vitter (R-La.) and Michael Crapo (R-Idaho), follows the introduction of its House companion yesterday (6th February) by Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah). This legislation would ensure that EPA sets the RFS cellulosic biofuel requirement based on actual production rather than unrealistic projections.

‘AFPM is grateful to the bills’ sponsors for recognising that this nonsensical mandate forces refiners to pay for fuels that do not exist,’ said American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President, Charles T. Drevna.

Under the current RFS program, EPA is required to set the annual cellulosic biofuel standard based on the projected production for the following year. Rather than using the previous year’s attained production level as the basis for a new and achievable mandate, the Agency instead relies upon the unrealistic predictions of cellulosic biofuel producers resulting in unachievable mandates that harm consumers.

Despite three successive years of aggressive mandates, zero gallons of cellulosic biofuels were produced in 2010 and 2011, and only 1741 gallons in 2012. Yet the Agency continues to mandate millions of gallons, essentially forcing refineries to write EPA a check to comply with a mandate they would otherwise be unable to meet.

Recognising the absurdity of this practice, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit recently vacated the 2012 standard ruling that the RFS requires EPA to ‘aim for accuracy’ and to reflect that would ‘actually happen.’ Yet less than a week after the Court’s admonishment and after another year of failed cellulosic biofuel production, EPA actually increased the 2013 mandate from the 2012 level. Indeed, EPA today proposed a 2013 mandate of 14 million ethanol equivalent gallons, 33% more than last year’s mandate.

‘EPA’s actions make clear that only legislative remedies will constrain the Agency’s haphazard and irresponsible implementation of this unworkable mandate. This bill highlights and would solve just one of the many inherent problems with the RFS, and magnifies the need for Congress to repeal an unnecessary and costly law,’ Drevna concluded.

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd.

Read the article online at:


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):