Deroy Murdock: High cost of fantasy fuel

Team Obama fines companies for not buying fuel that doesn’t exist

Why does America’s economy feel like an SUV running on fumes? The Obama administration’s laughably rigid enforcement of a Bush-era ethanol mandate typifies today’s regulatory climate. When Uncle Sam governs with a tire iron in his hand, U.S. companies wisely pull off the road and pray for new management.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has slapped a $6.8 million penalty on oil refiners for not blending cellulosic ethanol into gasoline, jet fuel and other products. Those dastardly petroleum mongers are being so intransigent because cellulosic ethanol does not exist. It remains a fantasy fuel. The EPA might as well mandate that Exxon hire leprechauns. So far this year — just as in 2011 — the supply of cellulosic biofuel in gallons totals zero.

“EPA’s decision is arbitrary and capricious. We fail to understand how EPA can maintain a requirement to purchase a type of fuel that simply doesn’t exist,” said Charles Drevna, president of American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), the Washington-based association for the oil-refining industry.

President George W. Bush idiotically signed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. Beyond prohibiting Thomas Edison’s groundbreaking incandescent light bulb by 2014, EISA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandated cellulosic ethanol. Under the RFS, refiners had to blend 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol in 2011. Although this substance is not extant, EPA then demanded to see 31 percent more of it. This year’s quota is 8.65 million gallons. Somehow, EPA expects cellulosic ethanol to leap magically from test tubes into storage tanks.

Washington Times

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12 responses to “Deroy Murdock: High cost of fantasy fuel

  1. The leprechauns at EPA have been drinking the cellulosic ethanol again.

  2. ” leprechauns at EPA ” – I like that!
    They are little green gnomes known for their tricks and deceptive nature, as well as their fondness for gold.

  3. All of these green agenda policies prove one of two ideas. Politicians are just too stupid and unwilling to invest time and effort into finding the truth or they ,the government, really want to run/ruin everyone’s life for thier own elitist self.

  4. Nonsense. Big Oil is suppressing cellulosic ethanol just like Big Auto is hiding all those 200mpg carburetors. Give it up Robber Barons!! We’re on to you. [/snark]

  5. Politicians are good at getting elected.
    That doesn’t, unfortunately, require a lot of intelligence or knowledge.
    Then they are at the mercy of their staffs, who are easily suborned by promises of future employment at lobbyists’ firms.

  6. When you hear that Big (insert a label here) is buying up new technology to suppress it, you can be pretty sure that it’s coming from other than a reliable source.

    If Big (X) got their hands on anything that would make them more competitive, they would use it.

    And if they didn’t, just knowing the technology exists would set everyone else on a quest to replicate it.

    To think otherwise is contrary to common sense.

    Many of you think otherwise.

    Give me a tangible example, please.

    • Ben of Houston

      Harry, I followed and agreed with you until the last three sentences.

      The vast majority of us here understand the problem (in case you just skimmed the above, Chuck was being sarcastic). This post is concerning the folly of our supreme leaders putting requirements that sound good but are impossible. No one here is accusing anyone of hoarding techonology (that would be Hollywood, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080754/).

      At the time that the requirement was made, it made as much sense as mandating fusion power or hydrogen cars. The technology just didn’t exist.

  7. EPA doesn’t understand that new technology can’t be pulled out of the air and become reality. Just because EPA does it with data to fit their agenda doesn’t mean others can.

  8. There is precisely the same probability of viable commercial production of cellulosic ethanol as there is of getting useable fuel from unicorn farts. Actually, if I had to select one, I’d say unicorn farts are significantly more likely to become a realistic fuel supply.

  9. Cellulose based ethanol is as close as building the proper bacterium.
    But it will come down to growing biomass for fuel or growing food for a population headed for 9 billion.

    Some of you people are so tied up in interlocking conspiracies, that for you to be right, everyone except you has to be in on it.

    You… all alone… everyone plotting against you…

    What makes you so special?

  10. Ben of Houston, sometimes I get into responding to responses…..

    The requirement to use ethanol didn’t come from the executive branch, but rather from the ‘agricultural caucus’ in the congress. Strings were pulled, favors were called in, the usual stuff.
    Want to see how that’s done? Watch and learn…

    • I realize exactly who to blame, here, Harry. Congress should never have made the requirement, and the EPA should use their enforcement discretion and not issue fines for not complying with impossible requirements.

      The foolishness of one branch of the government does not excuse another’s abdicating their reason and responsibilities.

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