Biofuels groups are downplaying a Friday federal court decision that some believe could cut off investments in advanced green fuels.
The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must use more realistic projections as part of its biofuel-blending mandate designed to create a domestic biofuel industry.
The biofuels industry initiated a lobbying campaign last fall to protect the mandate, and has warned that changing the forward-looking targets set by EPA could spook investment in next generation biofuels.
The rule requires refiners to blend 36 billion gallons of biofuel into traditional transportation fuel by 2022. Of that total, 21 billion gallons must come from cellulosic and “advanced” biofuels, which are made from non-edible feedstock.
But the court said EPA acted in “excess of the agency’s statutory authority” in projecting refiners could blend 10.45 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel in 2012, as only 22,000 gallons were produced.