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Published January 25, 2013, 01:56 PM

Court agrees EPA blended fuel estimate is too high

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency is overestimating the amount of fuel that can be produced from grasses, wood and other nonfood plants in an effort to promote the fledgling industry.

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency is overestimating the amount of fuel that can be produced from grasses, wood and other nonfood plants in an effort to promote the fledgling industry.

At issue is a 2007 renewable fuels law that requires a certain amount of those types of fuels, called cellulosic biofuels, to be mixed in with gasoline each year. Despite annual EPA projections that the industry would produce small amounts of the biofuels, none of that production materialized.

The court on Friday threw out the too-high EPA estimates in response to a challenge filed by the oil industry. But the court rejected the oil industry's arguments that the EPA should have lowered a production requirement for other kinds of renewable fuels.

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