Unsurprisingly, therefore, refiners produced exactly zero gallons of cellulosic biofuel in 2011. 77 Fed. Reg. 1320, 1323 (Jan. 9, 2012). More surprisingly -- at least to those familiar with the meaning of due process -- oil companies were required to pay millions of dollars in "waivers" for failing to meet the mandates. Even the New York Times called this a euphemism for a "fine" and "penalty."
Back in 2008, the EPA predicted (link in .ppt) that "Cellulosic biomass will be the primary source for fuel ethanol." The agency still believes its press releases. Yet, according to MIT's Technology Review, "[t]he corn ethanol industry is booming, but cellulosic biofuel production is far behind schedule."
source: May 9th Technology Review
The article continues:
In 2012, the EPA posits--based on its analysis of the six facilities scheduled to come online this year--that the fledgling industry will have the capacity to produce nearly 10.5 million gallons, compared to the original goal of 500 million. . .Not that the oil companies won't pay fines. . . I mean buy waivers. Someone has to pay for misplaced green zealotry, and it's never Congress or the EPA--it's oil companies and, thus, their customers. Which (for those now occupying some public park) means us.
Several more facilities should begin commercial production in 2013, but it's hard to believe that the industry will come even close to producing a billion gallons--the goal for that year, set by Congress in 2007. And the 2022 mandate of 36 billion total gallons of biofuel--16 of that cellulosic--is looking more unrealistic every year.
Plus, we're funding Congress and EPA. Meaning taxpayers pay double.