EPA Slashes Cellulosic Ethanol Target

December 2, 2010 07:07 AM

The Environmental Protection Agency has lowered the amount of renewable fuels from cellulose in the new Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) requirement for 2011 by a whopping 97%. The RFS2 requirement will require 13.95 billion gallons total, with 6.6 million gallons to come from cellulosic biofuel; the EPA’s original goal for cellulosic ethanol was 250 million gallons.

While the overall renewable fuel requirement mandated by the RFS2 remains the same, the 240 million gallon shortfall of cellulosic biofuels was simply added onto the 1.15 billion gallons of advanced biofuels in 2011. This sends a strong signal to obligated parties that they need to start building plants now if they want to meet the 2015 mandate of 5.5 billion gallons of total advanced, and 21 billion gallons in 2022.

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen says EPA’s decision to reduce the mandate on cellulosic ethanol is a good move, "accurately reflecting the difficulties cellulosic biofuel technologies have encountered in obtaining the capital needed to fully commercialize." However, he cautioned EPA must keep the cellulosic targets ambitious to stimulate advancement of the technology.

The RFA urges EPA to keep the overall RFS target at 13.95 billion gallons and allow other renewable fuels to make up the cellulosic biofuel shortfall in 2011.

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Spell Check

12/2/2010 03:32 PM

  Green Fuels: All oil, gas, coal, and diamonds are green as they were at one time green plants that turned into oil or were eaten by animals that died and turned into oil after millions of years. The natural way of making oil is much cheaper than to use food grain to make fuel. The world needs to cut its use of energy. At one time there were great numbers of people in South America and the SW of the United States that died off. Those in SA cut down the forest which did them in.

12/3/2010 05:05 AM

  Re: Dairy Farmer comment - we don't have a million years to generate more oil... and it is certainly not cheaper. Oil industry receives over $1.30/gallon in tax credits, governmental incentives and military protection... and can't put a number on American soldier's lives lost for foreign oil.

12/7/2010 03:08 PM

  Corn ethanol is NOT a green fuel. It is MUCH worse for the environment than oil. We are killing off our water resources with pesticide, fertilzer and insecticide. In my area, acres are coming out of CRP and woods are being cleared to grow -- you guessed it -- more King Corn. The giant sucking sound you hear is money coming out of the average person's pocket and the pocket of livestock producers and being put into the pockets of rich grain farmers via corn ethanol subsidies, direct and indirect. Corn ethanol is raising the price of food around the world, as well as taxes on the average person. We should end subsidizing it immediately and if we are going to make biofuel it should come from (1) non food stocks and (2) should have to produce more energy than it consumes (which corn ethanol does not).


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