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AFPM Petitions EPA to Waive 2012 Cellulosic Biofuel Mandate

WASHINGTON, Dec. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to waive the 2012 cellulosic biofuel mandate, citing a lack of domestic supply available for commercial use. Today's action marks the second year in a row that AFPM was forced to file a waiver petition for a non-existent biofuel that EPA has mandated under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). 

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The EPA Moderated Transaction System (EMTS) demonstrates that there has been, and continues to be, an inadequate domestic supply of cellulosic biofuel. In 2011, American refiners were required to use 6 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel to meet the EPA-established mandate, yet according to EMTS, zero cellulosic biofuel was actually produced. To date in 2012, just 20,069 gallons of cellulosic biofuel has been produced, all of which was exported. This amount falls far short of the EPA-mandated 10.45 million ethanol-equivalent gallons of cellulosic biofuel. In addition, since the cellulosic that actually was produced was exported, refiners cannot use credits generated from these biofuels for complying with the federal mandate.

If EPA fails to grant the waiver, refiners will be forced to pay several million dollars for a product that does not exist. This hidden tax on the refining industry disadvantages fuel consumers and is not what Congress intended when it incorporated the waiver provisions into the RFS.

"EPA's ambitious timeline for introducing cellulosic biofuel into the fuel supply market continues to be unrealistic despite billions in incentives to renewable fuel producers," said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna. "Congress foresaw that the aggressive renewable fuel standards might be unattainable and established several waiver provisions in the Clean Air Act including for inadequate domestic supply. If zero production doesn't meet the definition of inadequate, then it is time for Congress to reexamine the entire RFS and its failure to produce their desired results."

While the Clean Air Act requires EPA to act on the petition for waiver within 90 days, AFPM requested that the agency move expeditiously given that the compliance period for refiners ends on February 28, 2013 and cellulosic biofuel waiver credits for 2012 must be purchased on or before that date.  

AFPM, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (formerly known as NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association) is a trade association representing high-tech American manufacturers of virtually the entire U.S. supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, other fuels and home heating oil, as well as the petrochemicals used as building blocks for thousands of vital products in daily life. AFPM members make modern life possible and keep America moving and growing as they meet the needs of our nation and local communities, strengthen economic and national security, and support 2 million American jobs.

SOURCE American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers

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