Just when you think you have heard the most ridiculous thing you can think of, the EPA goes and proves you wrong:
Federal regulations can be maddening, but none more so than a current one that demands oil refiners use millions of gallons of a substance, cellulosic ethanol, that does not exist.
“As ludicrous as that sounds, it’s fact,” says Charles Drevna, who represents refiners. “If it weren’t so frustrating and infuriating, it would be comical.”
And Tom Pyle of the Institute of Energy Research says, “the cellulosic biofuel program is the embodiment of government gone wild.”
Refiners are at their wit’s end because the government set out requirements to blend cellulosic ethanol back in 2005, assuming that someone would make it. Seven years later, no one has.
“None, not one drop of cellulosic ethanol has been produced commercially. It’s a phantom fuel,” says Pyle. “It doesn’t exist in the market place.”
And Charles Drevna adds, “forcing us to use a product that doesn’t exist, they might as well tell us to use unicorns.”
And yet, they still have to pay what amounts to fines:
“Why would they ask them to blend any at all if it doesn’t exist?” Pyle said. “Because they know that they can squeeze some extra dollars out of them.”
Only someone working for the government would mandate the use of a material based on the assumption that if they were forced to use it, someone would create it.