Many aspects of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) do not make sense. But perhaps none are as unreasonable as the cellulosic fuel mandates.
The Clean Air Act demands that the EPA require refiners to blend gasoline with not only ethanol -- most of which comes from corn -- but also with cellulosic biofuels. These are renewable fuels made from plant material such as wood or grasses.
The only problem? Cellulosic biofuels do not exist.
Or at least not in commercially viable amounts. No one produces cellulosic ethanol for commercial use. Cellulosic fuels do exist in research labs, but this experimental fuel is essentially still on the drawing board.
Even so, the EPA demands that refiners purchase credits for this non-existent fuel. This irrational edict does nothing to increase biofuel use, yet it drives up the cost of manufacturing fuel . It is a stealth tax on producing fuel.
Bob Greco, API group director for downstream and industry operations, called it “regulatory absurdity.”
A court decision in January of 2013 rejected the EPA’s 2012 cellulosic fuel mandate. So, for now, refiners are safe from the $8 million in additional costs that cellulosic requirements would have triggered.
About the ruling, Greco said, “The court has provided yet another confirmation that EPA’s renewable fuels program is unworkable and must be scrapped.”
If you agree, click here to tell Congress the RFS must be repealed.