Trade groups seek to intervene in oil industry suit

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, July 13, 2012

Six biofuels trade groups are moving to intervene in an oil industry lawsuit against U.S. EPA over the agency’s 2011 requirements for cellulosic biofuel production.

The groups yesterday filed a joint petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to intervene in the suit by the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the Western States Petroleum Association.

The lawsuit, filed in mid-June, alleges that EPA posed infeasible targets for cellulosic biofuel production in 2011, then penalized oil companies for not meeting the targets. It seeks to overturn EPA’s decision this year to deny the companies a waiver for 2011 (Greenwire, May 29).

The biofuels groups seeking to intervene in the suit are the Advanced Biofuels Association, the Advanced Ethanol Council, the American Coalition for Ethanol, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association.

The 2011 rules required refiners to blend 6.8 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel into gasoline. While several biofuel companies have begun constructing plants across the country, the U.S. biofuels industry has yet to produce cellulosic biofuel at a commercial scale.

In a statement, the Biotechnology Industry Organization said EPA began issuing the first credits for cellulosic biofuel last month. EPA, however, has yet to release June production data