Companies supplying motor fuel will have to pay approximately $6.8 million in fines to the Treasury because they failed to “mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel,” writes Matthew L. Wald of the New York Times.
However, the fine isn’t the worst part. The worst part is the fact that the refiners could have tried everything in their power to remain in compliance with standards set by the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, and it might not have mattered.
Why? Because there is not enough of this “special type of biofuel” to go around. In fact, according to the Times report, and with the exception of some scattered workshops and laboratories, “the ingredient, cellulosic biofuel, does not exist.”
And by 2012, these companies are expected to pay even higher penalties for failing to include cellulosic biofuel in their product. Refiners were required to blend 6.6 million gallons into gasoline and diesel in 2011 and face a quota of 8.65 million gallons this year, according to the Times.
That seems like an awfully difficult task considering cellulosic biofuel doesn’t exist in the amounts required.
“It belies logic,” Charles T. Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association, said of the 2011 quota, according to the Times. And raising the quota for 2012 when there is no production makes even less sense, he said.