Despite court ruling, EPA raises biofuel estimate

Ag/Outdoor

February 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Days after a federal appeals court said the Obama administration is setting overly optimistic production quotas for the struggling biofuels industry, the government has issued new standards that raise production estimates for 2013. New standards announced Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency require production of 14 million gallons of so-called cellulosic biofuels made from grasses and woody material. That’s up from an 8.7 million-gallon requirement in 2012 — when actual production was near zero.

An oil industry representative said EPA was ignoring the court ruling as it pursued an “absurd” mandate for biofuels. The administration has said increased use of biofuels could lower greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. A spokeswoman said EPA believes the proposed standards “are a reasonable representation of expected production” of biofuels this year.