Republican Congressman Jeff Flake, who represents Arizona's Sixth District, today introduced the Phantom Fuel Reform Act (H.R. 6047) to reform an outrageous Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation that millions of dollars each year to the cost of energy production.
Under current law and based on annual EPA estimates, United States refiners are required to blend millions of gallons of cellulosic biofuel into the U.S. fuel supply, even if no cellulosic biofuel is produced. Currently, this still infant industry produces no product, yet in 2012, the EPA is requiring 8.65 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel to be blended. The EPA's solution to this problem is to force U.S. energy producers to buy paper credits for this "phantom fuel" directly from the EPA at a cost of millions. If U.S. energy producers do not buy these credits, they risk large fines from the EPA.
The Phantom Fuel Reform Act would simply require the EPA to rely on actual industry production rather than bureaucratic prediction when setting the annual cellulosic biofuel mandate.
"Even for the EPA, this is an outrageous regulation," said Flake. "The Phantom Fuel regulation has done nothing but net the federal government millions of dollars while needlessly driving up U.S. energy costs."