AFPM, WSPA sue EPA over cellulosic ethanol requirements

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association and the Western States Petroleum Association jointly sued the US Environmental Protection Agency over its decision to require refiners to blend cellulosic ethanol or pay the agency for waiver credits from being unable to blend fuels which do not yet exist.

The June 11 challenge in the US Circuit Court for the District of Columbia came after EPA’s recent denial of a January petition by AFPM, WSPA, and the American Petroleum Institute for a waiver of the 2011 requirements under the federal renewable fuel standard, AFPM said.

It said that the petition was filed after EPA’s own data showed that no cellulosic fuel was available commercially and refiners would be forced to purchase credits representing a fuel which did not exists.

“Congress gave EPA authority to waive RFS requirements when there is an inadequate supply of domestic biofuel,” observed AFPM General Counsel Rich Moskowitz. “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?

“EPA’s waiver denial is contrary to Congress’s intent,” he maintained. “It forces refiners to purchase credits from EPA for cellulosic fuels that are not commercially available and amounts to a hidden fuel tax on consumers.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

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