When Barack Obama ran for office in 2008, he promised to create 5 million green jobs. One of his main programs to help create some of those green jobs was his biofuels programs. Using the iron fist of the EPA, Obama did his best force refiners to produce cellulosic biofuels.
The standards set were completely unrealistic and unattainable. They were purposely overestimated to avoid the possibility of underestimation. It was a deliberate act to push the green fuel technology onto the oil industry. However, the technology was unable to produce the mandate quantity of cellulosic biofuels, resulting in the cellulosic biofuels not being commercially available.
When the industries failed to meet the mandated regulations, the EPA iron fist hammered down hard in the way of hefty fines. They tried to force the oil refineries to purchase over $8 million in credits for the $8.5 million worth of cellulosic biofuels that they failed to use. However, the American Petroleum Institute, the top oil and gas lobby, is no 98 pound weakling and they hammered back at the EPA in form of a lawsuit.
Last week, a federal judge ruled the EPA exceeded their authority when they mandated that refiners had to use the cellulosic biofuels, considering the fact that they could not obtain any to use. The judge did rule that the EPA could set certain high estimates for some production but when it came to the 2012 projection of the cellulosic biofuel, the court said:
“Here, by contrast, EPA applies the pressure to one industry (the refiners), yet it is another (the producers of cellulosic biofuel) that enjoys the requisite expertise, plant, capital and ultimate opportunity for profit. Apart from their role as captive consumers, the refiners are in no position to ensure, or even contribute to, growth in the cellulosic biofuel industry.”
“Do a good job, cellulosic fuel producers. If you fail, we’ll fine your customers…”
“However, we agree with API that EPA’s 2012 projection of cellulosic biofuel production was in excess of the agency’s statutory authority. We accordingly vacate that aspect of the 2012 RFS rule and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.”
Bob Greco, API Group Downstream Director commented about the court’s decision, saying:
“We are glad the court has put a stop to EPA’s pattern of setting impossible mandates for a biofuel that does not even exist. This absurd mandate acts as a stealth tax on gasoline with no environmental benefit that could have ultimately burdened consumers.”
I’m just thrilled to see a federal judge stand up to the EPA and tell them that they are not above the law nor are they the iron handed dictators of the environment. Lately, the EPA has been following Obama’s lead by leaving the law far behind in their power hungry efforts to squash property rights of private citizens. Hopefully more judges will start to rule on law and not by political pressure and hold the EPA in check.