AFPM sues EPA, seeks 2013 cellulosic ethanol quota waiver

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers legally challenged the US Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 Renewable Fuel Standard with an Oct. 10 suit in federal appeals court for the District of Columbia.

Its Oct. 10 action, which also sought a waiver of EPA’s 2013 cellulosic biofuels quota, followed a similar lawsuit the American Petroleum Institute filed 2 days earlier (OGJ Online, Oct. 8, 2013).

“The agency has repeatedly disregarded the timelines established in the Clean Air Act to finalize standards prior to the beginning of the compliance year,” AFPM General Counsel Rich Moskowitz said. “This retroactive rulemaking harms refiners and must stop.”

AFPM argued that EPA relied on data that was not available for comment, used methods for setting cellulosic biofuel requirements that were secret, and continued to overestimate the amount of cellulosic fuel that will be produced and available for compliance. It asked the court to order the agency to meet deadlines in issuing the standards.

Its petition for EPA to waive the 2013 cellulosic biofuel quotas, which were issued Aug. 19, said EPA relied on questionable data and assurances by suppliers that there would be enough cellulosic ethanol produced. The DC circuit court rejected EPA’s 2012 biofuel quotas in January.

“EPA continues to ignore the admonition of the DC Circuit to establish realistic, not aspirational biofuel standards,” Moskowitz continued. “The agency’s reliance on statements made by biofuel producers with an interest in creating a large government mandate for their product has not worked and will not work.”

He indicated the agency belatedly acknowledged the problem as it issued the 2013 quotas when it promised to investigate possible shortfalls as it prepares its 2014 quotas. AFPM is cautiously optimistic that EPA will exercise its waiver authority and establish more reasonable renewable requirements when it announces those quotas, Moskowitz said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

EPA leads investigation of crude discharge at BP Whiting refinery

03/26/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency took formal charge of investigation and cleanup efforts after an undetermined amount of crude oil spilled in...

EIA: China exceeds US as the largest net petroleum importer

03/26/2014 In September 2013, China’s net imports of petroleum and other liquids exceeded those of the US on a monthly basis, making it the world’s largest ne...

EIA: Tight oil production pushes US supply to more than 10% of world’s total

03/26/2014 US tight oil production averaged 3.22 million b/d in the fourth quarter of 2013, pushing overall US crude oil production to more than 10% of the wo...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX oil futures drop with HSC partially reopened

03/26/2014 Crude oil prices fluctuated but ended the New York trading session down modestly Mar. 25 after the US Coast Guard reopened the Houston Ship Channel...

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected