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API calls for reality check as EPA doubles down on mandate for biofuel that doesn’t exist

EPA proposes to nearly double the mandate of non-existent cellulosic biofuels for 2013

WASHINGTON, January 31, 2013 – API criticized EPA for ignoring a recent court decision in its 2013 proposed mandate for nonexistent cellulosic biofuel.

“The court recognized the absurdity of fining companies for failing to use a nonexistent biofuel,” said API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco. “But EPA wants to nearly double the mandate for the fuel in 2013. This stealth tax on gasoline might be the most egregious example of bad public policy, and consumers could be left to pay the price. EPA needs a serious reality check.”

EPA’s 2013 proposed mandate will require refiners and importers of gasoline and diesel to purchase 14 million gallons of the nonexistent biofuel in 2013. Although cellulosic biofuel has never been available on the commercial market, EPA continues to increase the mandate each year and has fined companies for failing to purchase sufficient quantities. In a decision this month, U.S. Court of Appeals said that EPA is not allowed “to let its aspirations for a self-fulfilling prophecy divert it from a neutral methodology,” and said EPA must set more reasonable mandates.

“For four years running, biofuel producers have promised high cellulosic ethanol production,” Greco said. “EPA uses these aspirational claims to set mandates, but the promised production hasn’t happened. With today’s announcement, EPA has proven yet again that its renewable fuels program is unworkable and must be scrapped.”

Greco said API recommends that EPA base its prediction on the current year’s cellulosic biofuel production when establishing the mandated volumes for the following year. This approach would provide a more realistic assessment of potential future production rather than simply relying on the assertions of companies whose self-interest is to advertise lofty projections of their ability to produce the cellulosic biofuel.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
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