The EPA vs. Reality

The Environmental Protection Agency has been demanding the impossible of refiners and then penalizing them when they fail to comply. A new ruling from a federal appeals court stops this shakedown.

For the past few years, the EPA has required refiners to purchase vast quantities of cellulosic biofuel, which is made from non-edible plant parts such as wood, grass, and cornstalks, and to use it in the gasoline they produce. The problem? The EPA wants refiners to buy more of this fuel than is available on the market — or has ever been available, for that matter. When those refiners have understandably failed to comply, the EPA has forced them to pay for an exemption.

The problem is that the raw inputs to cellulosic biofuel simply aren’t grown on a commercial scale. And there’s reason to doubt anyone would want to grow them. The cost of farming the plant waste, and then transporting large quantities for processing, is already astronomic. The Institute for Energy Research estimates that the raw inputs alone cost $1.30 to $1.48 per gallon — and that’s before the conversion to fuel even begins. For such biofuel to compete with petroleum, the cost of oil would have to rise to $191 a barrel, about double what it is now. Furthermore, the United States also lacks the cellulosic-biofuel plants equipped to process the substance on the scale the EPA has demanded.

Nevertheless, in 2011, the EPA made refiners cough up $6.8 million in fines for insufficient purchase of cellulosic biofuel, even though sufficient quantities never materialized. And if the court hadn’t intervened last week, refiners would have had to pay around $8 million for 2012.

But it’s taxpayers who got the worst shakedown. Already, tax dollars prop up the biofuels industry. The added expenses for refiners mean higher energy prices passed on to consumers, and drivers get fewer miles per gallon using the required ethanol-blended fuel.

Read more at National Review Online. By Jillian Kay Melchior.

Photo credit: Rainforest Action Network (Creative Commons)


  1. every acre taken out of food production raises food prices and starvation globally. Liberals never think passed their little petty feel good scams

  2. We need to Defund and disband the EPA, they are nothing but Obozzo's private control agency and they are causing a great deal of economic damage to this country with their radical agenda and their junk science.

    • Mike of Colorado says:

      Couldn't agree with you more, OLDDAD; there are many (maybe MOST) Federal Agencies that need to be TOTALLY ABOLISHED and this is certainly one of them. The level of incompetency demonstrated by Washington is astounding. OBAMA has targetted our military as his prime target for funding cuts, yet this is the only one that deserves our undivided support. This new Hagel guythat OBAMA wants in is a real joke, but what would you expect coming from this Socialist/Marxist/Communist/Muslim/Bi-Sexual President that we have….

  3. The time is long past due for the employees of the EPA to be drawn and quartered, and the EPA itself to disappear.

  4. More government stupidity…but no one ever accused them of being smart did they? Just a way to fund the EPA with a shake down of course.

  5. jmsmaxwell says:

    Any one with half a brain knows that bio fuel is pure BS perputated by the government namely bho who
    stated clealey before he was elected in 2008 that he would break or destroy the coal industry. Unfortunately
    when the mindless followeres of a radical islamice kenyan who happes to be black the vast majority of the
    Black American fell into the democrat trap. They voted for "skin" without actually looking at his political
    beleifs. He claimed to be Christian but even the Rev Wright said he had to change his preaching to make
    it "accetable" for bho. That alone should tll those of the Christian faith that he was a wolf in sheeps
    clothing. He present a good imiage to the publice but no one gets past that. I would suggest that based
    upon who he invites to the White House on a regulare basis should tell everyone somethign about him.
    He caters to the Islamig groups, bows to their leaders and give them weapon to defeat those who oppose
    them. He quotes the Q'uran at ever opportunity but cannot quote any Bibilican references. He was
    reelected only after he started to tell his base to "Vote for Revenge". That to many Black people was a
    buzz word to vote for him to get revenge upon "Whitey". Most of the other voters did not pick upon that
    phrase, but it resonated thru many in the Black community especially those up North who think that our
    nation owes them something.

  6. Why are they putting up with this extortion from the EPA???? This is a travesty and these people should be in jail!! We are really tired of these morons and wish the House would totally defund the entire agency!! (wishful thinking)

  7. Donald Mather says:

    I worked with CA in the 1st of the statesSMOG control in 1968. The older Meckanics will remember ???? Pluging Vacumn advance on 1955 chev.. Later to add EGR Valve cars 70 and later cars.. I always thought it was just unneeded expence to anyone????Mechanic Owner Dons Auto Clinic. Suisun
    Fairfield..??????????? Old Timers Email me.

  8. It would take an act of Congress to abolish the EPA but don't expect them to do anything right for the people and businesses of this country. They are more scared of what the environmentalists and state owned media would say about them if they were to do the right thing. We don't need a national bureaucracy to hold court over environmental laws. Each state is capable of handling its own needs. It would be cheaper because it would eliminate on layer of bureaucracy. I made a request of the senior senator from my state over 10 years ago to abolish EPA and I guess she must have thought I was crazy because I never got a response.

  9. It seems to me that a simple approach would be to defund EPA by 10% per year. Congress should be able to do that without a lot of falderal about what to cut. If EPA has so much expertise, let the EPA figure out what to cut.

  10. paulc–what an excellent idea. Everyone write your Representatives and Senators and demand a 10% per year cut of the EPA. Get enough on board and maybe something will happen.

  11. Erik Osbun says:

    Green tyranny is one of the standard Communist fronts.

  12. dcartmill says:

    When has science,reality,common sense ever been allowed to deter the developement and application of a really good government scam. Having reviewed the absolute lack of intelligent thinking, that should have accompanied such a endeavor, one can only conclude criminal intent. ( Fines for non-compliance of an un-attainable regulation,should be in some form…illegal taking ) The EPA has to be completely dismantled , as they could be self sustaining even if they were to be de funded by Congress.. No oversight and the athority to access and collect huge fines for non-compliance of un-attainable regulatory limits. Complete nonsense for this to be allowed to continue…nonsense for there NOT to be Federal malfeasance charges brought against EPA hierarchy.

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