EPA cuts 2013 cellulosic-ethanol mandate

The US Environmental Protection Agency lowered the amount of cellulosic ethanol required in 2013 to the amount actually produced, relieving refiners and importers of the need to buy credits to cover shortfalls against the earlier mandate.

The adjusted volume is 810,185 ethanol-equivalent gal. The earlier requirement, published on Aug. 15, 2013, was 6 million gal.

EPA made the change in response to petitions for reconsideration from the American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.

AFPM welcomed the move.

“I expect EPA to use the same rational thinking to revise its proposed 2014 ethanol and biodiesel requirements, which are already long overdue,” said AFPM Pres. Charles T. Drevna.

He said EPA has proposed a mandate of 17 million gal of cellulosic ethanol for 2014 and noted production of the material in the first quarter totaled less than 75,000 gal.

Because commercialization of cellulosic ethanol has been slow to develop, EPA is using regulatory discretion to set mandates below statutory levels. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 set the requirement for cellulosic ethanol in 2014 at 1.75 billion gal.

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