On 11th June the AFPM and Western States Petroleum Agency (WSPA) filed a lawsuit with the DC Circuit Court against the EPA. This filing challenges the EPA’s decision to require refiners to blend cellulosic ethanol or pay the agency for waiver credits due to the inability to blend these fuels under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).
The filing has been made due to the EPA’s recent decision to deny a petition made by the AFPM, WSPA and American Petroleum Institute (API) in January for a waiver of the 2011 cellulosic fuel requirements under the RFS. The petition was filed after EPA’s own data showed that no cellulosic fuel was commercially available and refiners would be forced to purchase credits representing a fuel that did not in fact exist.
‘Congress gave EPA authority to waive RFS requirements when there is an inadequate supply of domestic biofuel. If EPA isn’t going to exercise this authority in a year when zero gallons were produced and available, when would EPA use this waiver provision?’ commented AFPM General Counsel Rich Moskowitz. ‘EPA’s waiver denial is contrary to Congress’ intent and forces refiners to purchase credits from EPA for cellulosic fuels that are not commercially available and amounts to a hidden fuel tax on consumers.’
‘Someday cellulosic fuel may be available and may even e cost effective, but today the fuel doesn’t exist. EPA’s denial of this waiver request is in poor judgement and a perfect example of the agency’s continuing war on fossil fuels,’ said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna. ‘The requirement to blend cellulosic biofuels that do not currently exist, and will not be available in the immediate future, in any form that satisfies EPA’s phantom fuel requirements, let alone the quantities mandated by the RFS program, is one of many examples of how the RFS is broken. Congress should repel the RFS and embrace a more realistic approach to biofuels; American consumers deserve better from their government.’
The Clean Air Act requires that the EPA establish the appropriate amount of cellulosic biofuel that should be mandated each year. This is based upon the amount of fuel it expects to be available in the marketplace. The EPA’s 2011 ruling required refiners and importers of gasoline and diesel to blend 6.8 million gall. of cellulosic biofuels into the fuel supply, despite the fact EPA’s own tracking system indicating that 0 gall. of cellulosic fuel were actually commercially available during the entire of 2011.
Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd
Read the article online at: https://www.hydrocarbonengineering.com/gas-processing/12062012/afpm_sues_epa/