EPA still refusing to reevaluate cellulosic biofuel mandate

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The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers has petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to waive the 2012 cellulosic biofuel mandate, citing a lack of domestic supply available for commercial use. This is the second year in a row that AFPM has filed a waiver petition for what it calls "a non-existent biofuel that EPA has mandated under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)."

In 2011, American refiners were required to use six million gallons of cellulosic biofuel to meet the EPA-established mandate; however, the EPA Moderated Transaction System says that zero cellulosic biofuel was actually produced, AFPM contends.

"EPA's ambitious timeline for introducing cellulosic biofuel into the fuel supply market continues to be unrealistic despite billions in incentives to renewable fuel producers," said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna. "Congress foresaw that the aggressive renewable fuel standards might be unattainable and established several waiver provisions in the Clean Air Act including for inadequate domestic supply. If zero production doesn't meet the definition of inadequate, then it is time for Congress to reexamine the entire RFS and its failure to produce their desired results."

The EPA has 90 days to act upon the waiver petition, but AFPM has requested a faster track because compliance period for refiners ends on February 28, 2013 and cellulosic biofuel waiver credits for 2012 must be purchased on or before that date.

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