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.