The EPA once again raises its biofuels standards -- for biofuels that still do not exist

The Environmental Protection Agency’s brazen contempt for free-market economics evidently knows no bounds.

Less than a week ago, the Environmental Protection Agency received a slap on the wrist from a federal appeals court that ruled that the EPA may not force oil companies to pay for an credits for failing to comply with a rule mandating that they incorporate a certain amount of cellulosic biofuels into their product. The EPA estimated that the industry would produce and make available for purchase 8.7 million gallons of cellulosic biofuels in 2012, but the industry only actually produced less than 21,000 gallons — and the court thankfully decided that the EPA could not inflict regulatory punishments based on their wildly enthusiastic and fanciful projections.

You know, government projections? Like how the Obama administration also projected that we’d have positive fourth-quarter economic growth and that ObamaCare would reduce health care costs? How’d that work out for us?

EPA don’t care, because this time — no really, guys, this time — they know what they’re doing.

EPA raised how much cellulosic biofuel — those made from non-edible feedstock — it expected refiners to blend this year as part of the renewable fuel standard.

EPA set the mark at 14 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, up from about 8.65 million gallons last year. …

“U.S. EPA worked hard to ensure that the cellulosic biofuels volume standard for 2013 would be tied directly to the commercial production of cellulosic biofuels expected to come online this year,” Brooke Coleman, executive director with the Advanced Ethanol Council, said in a Thursday statement. …

“The court recognized the absurdity of fining companies for failing to use a nonexistent biofuel. But EPA wants to nearly double the mandate for the fuel in 2013. This stealth tax on gasoline might be the most egregious example of bad public policy, and consumers could be left to pay the price. EPA needs a serious reality check,” API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco said in a Thursday statement.

In any rational sphere of time and space, the EPA would have lost its authority to mandate private businesses to comply with their fanciful notions of biofuels compliance, especially seeing as how even real greenies say that many biofuels have a net negative effect on the environment. What excuse do they have for making these egregious and expensive policies other than helping out their buddies, Big Ethanol?

The EPA is out of control, and they don’t particularly care who knows it.

In other news, it’s Thursday.