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The end of the cellulosic biofuel mandate

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

On Friday 25th January the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit vacated the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2012 cellulosic biofuel mandate. The court concluded that the biased forecast was in ‘excess of the agency’s statutory authority.’

Comments from the AFPM

‘The Court’s decision provides welcome relief and puts EPA on notice that it must act as neutral arbiter rather than a promoter of cellulosic fuel. Instead of facing the reality of zero cellulosic biofuel production under the Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS), EPA wrongly relied upon an inflated production capacity predicted by cellulosic biofuel producers. This resulted in a cellulosic mandate that was impossible to meet and left refiners having to purchase waiver credits that act as a hidden tax on transportation fuels,’ said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna.

‘Today’s ruling is especially welcome in light of AFPM’s pending petition for a waiver of the 2012 cellulosic mandate based on an inadequate domestic supply. AFPM will continue to challenge what we believe to be arbitrary decisions by EPA and in fact, will move forward with litigation challenging the agency’s denial of our 2011 cellulosic biofuels waiver request,’ Drevna concluded.

Comments from the API

‘We are glad the court has put a stop to EPA’s pattern of setting impossible mandates for a biofuel that does not even exist,’ said API Group Downstream Director Bob Greco. ‘This absurd mandate acts as a stealth tax on gasoline with no environmental benefit that could have ultimately burdened consumers.

‘This decision relieves refiners of complying with the unachievable 2013 mandate and forces EPA to adopt a more realistic approach for setting future cellulosic biofuel mandates,’ Greco said. ‘The court has provided yet another confirmation that EPA’s renewable fuels program is unworkable and must be scrapped.’

Adapted from various sources by Claira Lloyd.

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