API Challenges EPA 2013 RFS Volume Requirements

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has filed a lawsuit with the D.C. Circuit Court challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume requirements for 2013, arguing that EPA has mandated significantly more cellulosic ethanol than is available in the marketplace.

EPA released its 2013 volume requirements in August and mandated that 16.55 billion gallons of renewable fuels be blended into the U.S. fuel supply, including 1.28 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel;  2.75 billion gallons of advanced biofuels and 6 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels.

“EPA’s unrealistic ethanol mandates for 2013 are simply bad public policy,” Harry Ng, API vice president and general counsel, said in a press statement. “EPA issued this year’s requirements nine months late and has once again mandated significantly more cellulosic ethanol than is available in the marketplace.”

The 2013 RFS volume requirements were not issued until August 2013, despite a statutory deadline of November 2012. EPA also mandated that refiners use 6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2013, but only 142,000 gallons have been available for refiners to blend so far, according to EPA.

Ng said the court already has had to rein in EPA’s excessive cellulosic ethanol mandates, but “the agency continues to ignore reality.” In January, the U.S. Court of Appeals rejected EPA’s 2012 mandate for refiners to use cellulosic biofuel, which is not commercially available.

Just days after filing its lawsuit, some 44 organizations wrote in a letter to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that changes to the RFS should include a less-stringent corn ethanol mandate.

The letter, submitted by groups including the American Meat Institute, the Environmental Working Group and Taxpayers for Common Sense, requested that “any legislation that the Committee considers recognizes and addresses the havoc that the corn ethanol mandate has placed on the multitude of stakeholder interests.”


Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman's photo

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman

Tiffany Wlazlowski Neuman develops and executes communications strategies to advance NATSO’s public relations and advocacy goals. Tiffany also develops and oversees partnerships related to the NATSO Foundation’s public outreach initiatives. Tiffany lives in the D.C. metro area with her husband and their two sons.More
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