Ethanol groups seek to intervene in oil industry lawsuit over cellulosic mandate

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Six ethanol trade groups are seeking to intervene in an oil industry challenge to the 2012 cellulosic biofuel requirements laid out by U.S. EPA under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

In their filing Friday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the groups assert that their industry has enough resources to meet EPA’s requirement. The rule issued in December requires producers to generate 8.65 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel this year or purchase renewable fuel credits to meet the obligation.

The Advanced Biofuels Association, American Coalition for Ethanol, Advanced Ethanol Council, Biotechnology Industry Organization, Growth Energy and Renewable Fuels Association signed onto the joint filing.

In its lawsuit filed last month, the American Petroleum Institute said the agency’s requirements were unrealistic given the delays in commercializing cellulosic biofuel. The oil industry said the requirement forces refiners to purchase credits for cellulosic biofuel that doesn’t yet exist (E&ENews PM, March 12).

“EPA’s unrealistic mandate is effectively a tax on manufacturers of gasoline that could ultimately burden consumers,” Bob Greco, API’s director of downstream and industry operations, said in a statement last month.

In their joint filing, the biofuel groups defend the standard, maintaining that their “members have investments in equipment, research and development to supply the necessary renewable fuel.”