In 2007, the Energy Independence and Security Act was enacted with the goals of reducing America’s dependence on oil from hostile nations, the payment of billions of dollars for the oil to the hostile nations, improve the efficiency of motor vehicles and increase the use of renewable energy resources which includes biofuels.
By 2011, fuel companies were to be blending in 6.6 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel into domestic gasoline and diesel. Cellulosic biofuel is made from wood chips and other plant parts such as corncobs and plant stems that are not edible
However, there has been one major flaw in the EISA and that is the technology has not caught up to the requirements. Cellulosic biofuels only exist in small amounts as various research companies are desperately trying to come up with a way to produce the biofuel which isn’t cost prohibitive.
One company that was working on finding ways to produce cellulosic biofuels was Range Fuels in Georgia who recently went out of business and whose building was sold for pennies on the dollar. Even with the extensive pine forests of Georgia that have a high resin content, Range Fuels was unsuccessful in finding an affordable process to turn the timber into fuel that would burn in your cars and trucks.
Range Fuels and other companies like them are the ones that received millions of dollars from taxpayers to try to develop these green energies. And like Range Fuels, many have had to shut down or reduce staff because the refining process at the moment appears to be far too expensive to make it worthwhile.
With no real supply of cellulosic biofuel to be had, the fuel companies were unable to comply with the EISA requirements, the Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with their plans to impose fines on the fuel companies for failing to meet the guidelines. And if the fuel companies are unable to get their hands on 8.65 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel this year to meet the requirements, they’ll face even stiffer fines.