Appeals Court Rules on EPA Biofuels Estimate

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Washington Post - January 28, 2013

A federal appeals court has ruled that the EPA is overestimating the amount of fuel that can be produced from grasses, wood and other nonfood plants.

Find out what is at issue here.

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency is overestimating the amount of fuel that can be produced from grasses, wood and other nonfood plants in an effort to promote a fledgling biofuels industry.

At issue is a 2007 renewable-fuels law that requires a certain amount of those types of fuels, called cellulosic biofuels, to be mixed in with gasoline each year. Despite annual EPA projections that the industry would produce small amounts of the biofuels, none of that production materialized.

There have been high hopes in Washington that the cellulosic industry would take off as farmers, food manufacturers and others blamed the skyrocketing production of corn ethanol fuel for higher food prices. Those groups said the diversion of corn crops for fuel production raised prices for animal feed and eventually for consumers at the grocery store. Lawmakers hoped that nonfood sources such as switchgrass or corn husks could be used instead, though the industry had not yet gotten off the ground.

 

 

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