The American Petroleum Institute has filed a petition for review challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) denial of its request to retroactively waive requirements for refiners to blend cellulosic biofuel into their fuels in 2011. Am. Petroleum Inst. v. EPA, No. 12-1330 (D.C. Cir. filed 7/24/12).

In their original petition to EPA, the American Petroleum Institute, National Petrochemical & Refiners Association and Western States Petroleum Association asked the agency to waive the requirement under the renewable fuel standard to blend 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel into their fuels because not enough cellulosic fuel was produced to meet the volume requirement. They argued that EPA was penalizing them for failing to purchase a product that was not available.

EPA denied the petition on the ground that the industry should have raised its concerns when the renewable fuel standard for 2011 was proposed, not after it was finalized. EPA also said that its denial was based on individual biofuel producer’s production plans for 2011 as well as an Energy Information Administration industry analysis.