Industry Says Cellulosic Ethanol Progress is Being Made

Source: Cindy Zimmerman •  • Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In response to recent media reports about cellulosic ethanol shortfalls, including a story in the New York Times, the advanced ethanol industry is stressing that progress is being made.

“In a very difficult financial and policy environment, the first wave of commercial advanced ethanol production facilities are under construction in a number of states across the country,” said Advanced Ethanol Council Executive Director Brooke Coleman. “Diversifying America’s fuel supply with increasing amounts of clean, domestically produced renewable fuel requires us to keep our eyes on the prize and not be distracted by the noise and misdirection coming from naysayers protecting the status quo.”

Coleman acknowledges that targets for cellulosic ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) have had to be revised downward from initial expectations, but says the RFS is working to help diversify the nation’s fuel supply.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required by Congress to adjust the RFS cellulosic biofuel blending volumes based on forecasted future available supplies. For both 2011 and 2012, EPA reduced those volumes by over 90 percent to provide relief for regulated parties and simultaneously implement the very type of credit system the oil industry requested to address the inherent market uncertainties of deploying new fuel technologies in the marketplace.