EPA Requires Use of Non-Existent Fuel Additive

22 Jun

Headline to a Fox News article by Jim Angle, published 6/21/12:

“EPA blasted for requiring oil refiners to add type of fuel that’s merely hypothetical”

Excerpts from that Fox News piece: [Bolding is mine – content within brackets is added by me]

Federal regulations can be maddening, but none more so than a current one that demands oil refiners use millions of gallons of a substance, cellulosic ethanol, that does not exist.

“As ludicrous as that sounds, it’s fact,” says Charles Drevna, who represents refiners. “If it weren’t so frustrating and infuriating, it would be comical.”

And Tom Pyle of the Institute of Energy Research says, “the cellulosic biofuel program is the embodiment of government gone wild.”

Refiners are at their wit’s end because the government set out requirements to blend cellulosic ethanol back in 2005, assuming that someone would make it. Seven years later, no one has [produced it commercially].   .   .   .

And yet, they still have to pay what amounts to fines:

The EPA does have discretion to lower the annual requirement. And one supporter explains, that’s what the agency is saying.   .   .   .

The EPA, which would not speak on camera, is still hoping production of cellulosic ethanol will emerge.   .   .   .

So the refiners are now suing the EPA, in part because the mandate gets larger and larger– 500 million gallons this year, 3 billion in 2015 and 16 billion in 2022.

And still, not a gallon of cellulosic ethanol in sight.

[End of excerpts]

There is also a WSJ article on the same subject, maybe a little more balanced, but still demonstrating that regulators are out of touch with reality, and that more taxpayer dollars have gone down the drain as a result of well-intentioned but ill-designed regulation.  See the WSJ article at


This article indicates that somewhere between 6 and 10 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol have, in fact, been produced, but this is nothing, basically experimental, in the face of the huge EPA requirement.  Here is the neat wrap-up to that article:

“To recap:  Congress subsidized a product that didn’t exist, mandated its purchase though it still didn’t exist, is punishing oil companies for not buying the product that doesn’t exist, and is now doubling down on the subsidies in the hope that someday it might exist.  We’d call this the march of folly, but that’s unfair to fools.”

Your thoughts?


2 Responses to “EPA Requires Use of Non-Existent Fuel Additive”

  1. Joseph Edward Wages June 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    My question is “where is congress?” Asleep at the wheel I presume. Congress sits on their fat duffs and probably complain about this. Do something. How about defund that program today then change the law that allows the executive branch to “make law”.

    • illero June 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      “Asleep at the wheel”? I don’t think so — I think they are ducking, dodging, and weaving.

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