Oil industry group challenges EPA’s cellulosic requirements

Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter  • Posted: Thursday, July 26, 2012

An oil industry trade group has filed another lawsuit challenging U.S. EPA’s yearly requirements for cellulosic biofuel under the renewable fuel standard.

In the suit filed yesterday in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the American Petroleum Institute alleges that EPA set requirements last year mandating that oil refiners blend nonexistent cellulosic biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply. It comes after EPA denied a petition to waive the requirements for last year.

“EPA’s unattainable and absurd mandate forces refiners to pay a penalty for failing to use biofuels that don’t even exist,” said API Director of Downstream and Industry Operations Bob Greco. “The mandate is effectively an added tax on gasoline manufacturers that could ultimately burden consumers.”

Last year, EPA required that refiners use or buy credits for 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel. EPA, however, has reported that biofuel producers did not produce any gallons of the fuel.

The suit is similar to one filed in mid-June by two other oil trade groups, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the Western States Petroleum Association. Ethanol trade groups recently petitioned to intervene in the suit.

Oil groups have also filed suit to challenge EPA’s cellulosic biofuel requirements for 2012.