US ethanol group against cellulosics waiver for oil industry

16 February 2012 22:34  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) on Thursday reiterated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) should not grant a retroactive waiver to the oil industry for the cellulosic requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2011. 

“We are well aware that the commercialisation of cellulosic biofuels is behind the schedule set forth by the federal RFS,” said AEC executive director Brook Coleman in a letter to Congress. “However, Congress anticipated the inevitable uncertainties and variability inherent with the commercialisation of new technologies and set up a credit waiver system to account for variances from the established schedule for advanced biofuels.”

American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) (formerly NPRA), the American Petroleum Institute (API), and the Western States Petroleum Association have asked EPA to retroactively waive the 2011 cellulosic ethanol requirements under the RFS as no reported volumes of cellulosic ethanol production were reported. 

Coleman responded that the purpose of the RFS was to be forward-looking and drive the commercializstion of new renewable fuel technology. Coleman added that oil interests and other obligated parties have multiple options to comply with RFS mandated volumes.

Coleman urged the EPA to continue to enforce the RFS volumes it sets each November for the following year as well as the credit provisions that were established at the urging of the oil industry and other obligated parties.

“Cellulosic biofuel technology is ready and cellulosic ethanol producers are starting to break through commercially in very difficult economic times. Consistent and reasonable implementation of the RFS is the key point,” said Coleman.

By: Brian Balboa
+1 713 525 2653

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