Cellulosic Biofuel Mandate Struck Down
The D.C. Court of Appeals recently struck down the EPA’s mandate that required oil companies to use ethanol made from switchgrass or farm waste in their gasoline supply. This mandate was made based upon the thinking by the EPA that if you made this type ethanol a requirement then someone will find a way to make it. The problem is that no one was ever able to produce a cellulosic biofuel. The EPA required oil companies to purchase 6.6 million gallons in 2011 and 8.7 million gallons in 2012 even though the cellulosic ethanol industry produced zero gallons in 2011 and zero in 2012. As a result, the oil companies had to purchase millions of dollars of “waiver credits” for failing to comply with the mandate to buy a fuel that did not exist. What this means is that consumers were paying higher prices for gasoline because the oil companies had to pay penalties for not using a product that they could not obtain.