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« Bayesians on Bayes | Main | It's all in the adjustments (redux) »

Biofuels bust

The New Times reports that a judge has decided that the US Environmental Protection Agency is a bad joke. The EPA's biofuels mandate has been officially ruled to be absurd, because of its requirement that fuel companies incorporate cellulosic ethanol in their products whether it was possible to buy such ethanol or not.

A federal appeals court threw out a federal rule on renewable fuels on Friday, saying that a quota set by the Environmental Protection Agency for incorporating liquids made from woody crops and wastes into car and truck fuels was based on wishful thinking rather than realistic estimates of what could be achieved.

Heads will not roll, however. This is the government we are talking about.

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Reader Comments (14)

A judicious judge.

Jan 26, 2013 at 11:09 PM | Registered CommenterPharos

Heads will not roll, however. This is the government we are talking about.

It depends what the aim of the law was. To actually do something, or to be seen to be doing something.

If politicians only wrote laws they expected to have an effect our lawbooks would be much smaller.

Jan 26, 2013 at 11:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

Well, at least cellulosic ethanol is non-food ethanol.

Jan 26, 2013 at 11:31 PM | Registered Commentershub

But you can't grow a food crop where you are growing switchgrass

Jan 27, 2013 at 12:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

"But production of the “cellulosic” fuel, made from woody material, has been slow to start up, making it virtually impossible to come by. That has presented the refiners, the ones required to buy the cellulosic fuel, with a quandary."

Instead of pleading in court, the refiners should have stopped shipping gas and diesel since they have no product available that meets the EPA requirements. Then when the entire US economy comes to a sudden stop and riots commence, they could have pointed fingers at Obama and his EPA and said THEY ARE TO BLAME, THEY SAID WE COULD NOT SELL YOU GAS.

It is about time that people stop protecting the green cult from their own failure - let them have their pyrrhic victory and let them deal with fallout when hordes of armed Americans come beating down the whitehouse door looking for answers from their messiah.

Jan 27, 2013 at 12:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterSean

Sean, what makes you think the green cult would not welcome riots and a shutdown of the US economy?

I always assumed that was their true goal.

Jan 27, 2013 at 1:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterBruce

Ah.... EPA biofuels.....

That'd be THIS STUFF then I guess.


Jan 27, 2013 at 1:28 AM | Registered Commentertomo

I'm planning to make biofuel from frogspawn and cuckoospit.

Jan 27, 2013 at 2:12 AM | Unregistered Commenterdearieme

Sanity! On step at a time.

Unfortunately, each step is lost in the foot traffic toward insanity.

Jan 27, 2013 at 4:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Rasey

In the event of such a shut down "the people" would have a stark choice as to whether they wanted to go green or keep going as they are now. I think Sean is right but whatever decision was made on the streets the politicians, Green or otherwise, would quickly follow.

Jan 27, 2013 at 8:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

...the decision could lead to increased use of two noncellulosic fuels that are “advanced,” biodiesel made from fat and waste or soybeans, and ethanol from Brazilian sugar cane, to fill the gap. The Brazilian ethanol is considered advanced because making it from sugar requires less energy than making it from corn, as producers do in this country.

If cellulosic biofuel can eventually be commercialized, it would represent a triple play for administration policy. It would help cut oil imports, which would advance the nation’s energy security and its balance of payments.

So, instead of importing oil, they will import sugar cane from Brazil....that will really balance the payments... /sarc

Jan 27, 2013 at 8:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterWijnand

Time then to throw out the EPA's most malign ruling that Carbon Dioxide is a dangerous pollutant that needs regulation.

Jan 27, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller

I strongly suspect that if the refiners had responded as Sean suggests, then the US Federal Government would have jumped at the chance to cover its embarrassment by finding a way of proceeding against them under anti-trust law.

Jan 27, 2013 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Peakall

The US and UK governments' Departments of Unintended Consequences are going to get busier and busier....

Jan 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid

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