U.S. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, made the following statement regarding a court decision to vacate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2012 Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) projection for cellulosic biofuel production:
"The EPA has been playing games with made up standards on renewable fuels, but today's appellate court decision should be their first clue that needs to stop," Vitter said. "It's plain and simple - the EPA has been getting away with mandating exaggerated fuel standards based on a pie in the sky wish, but now they'll actually have to use some cold hard facts. I applaud the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for recognizing how ludicrous the situation is to force refiners to either purchase amounts of a product that don't even exist or pay a hefty fine."
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit found that EPA was projecting far too much production of cellulosic biofuel for 2012. In vacating EPA's 2012 projection of cellulosic biofuel production, the Court found that the RFS program, as amended in 2007, would need to be based on actual production versus a prediction. The Court found EPA's estimations of growth in the cellulosic biofuel industry did not align with how the Renewable Fuels Standard law is written.
Under the Renewable Fuels Standard, the mandated amount of cellulosic biofuel determines how much refiners, importers, and blenders must use or purchase credits for each year to comply with the law. For 2012, that volume for cellulosic biofuel was half a billion gallons. While U.S. Energy Information Administration projected 6.9 million gallons for 2012, EPA increased that number to 8.7 million gallons. The production for 2010 and 2011 was zero.