The US Environmental Protection Agency opted Tuesday to set a more ambitious goal for the production of cellulosic biofuels in 2012, saying the 31% boost from 2011 levels would drive growth in the fledgling industry. The EPA is requiring that 8.65 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels be used in 2012, up from the 6.6 million gallons it required in 2011. That number is still far below the 500 million gallons required by statute. But it is higher than the low end of the range it had originally proposed in June, when it said it was considering a volume of 3.45 million to 12.9 million gallons. The cellulosic requirements are part of the larger Renewable Fuel Standard targets for 2012. Refineries and other blenders will have to use the equivalent of 15.2 billion gallons of ethanol, cellulosic biofuels, biodiesel and similar renewable fuels next year — the same amount as the EPA had initially proposed in June.