The Advanced Ethanol Council (AEC) is asking the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) not to grant a retroactive waiver to the oil industry for the cellulosic requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in 2011.
Under the 2011 RFS, the EPA required petroleum refiners and importers to blend 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels in 2011 or buy waiver credits by the end of February 2012 to make up for the difference.
In January, trade groups for refiners and oil producers asked EPA for a waiver from that requirement, because of the absence of cellulosic biofuel production last year.
In a letter to the EPA, Brooke Coleman, Advanced Ethanol Council Executive Director, made very clear that Congress anticipated potential shortfalls in cellulosic ethanol production in the early years and created a mechanism, with the blessing of petroleum interests, to address such a situation.
“We are well‐aware that the commercialization of cellulosic biofuels is behind the schedule set forth by the federal RFS. However, Congress anticipated the inevitable uncertainties and variability inherent with the commercialization of new technologies and set up a credit waiver system to account for variances from the established schedule for advanced biofuels,” wrote Coleman.
Coleman says the purpose of the RFS was to be forward-looking and drive the commercialization of new renewable fuel technology. Moreover, Coleman notes, oil interests and other obligated parties have multiple options available to them to comply with RFS mandated volumes.
Read the entire letter here.