Oil interests file request with EPA to reduce ethanol mandate

August 15, 2013 |

In Washington, the American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers have requested EPA to reduce the total 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) below 10 percent of gasoline demand.

Brian Jennings, EVP at the American Coalition for Ethanol, commented: “This request to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) confirms that Big Oil lobbyists are the only people on planet Earth who cannot (or refuse to) compute that the RFS eventually requires ethanol to comprise more than 10 percent of gasoline demand,” said Jennings.  “The RFS wasn’t enacted to pamper oil companies.  It was enacted to provide Americans with clean and affordable alternatives to oil.”

Jennings pointed out in the three years the RFS has been in full effect (EPA finalized the RFS2 rule in March of 2010), oil companies are the only major stakeholders who refuse to comply with the law.  “While the rest of us have advanced and moved forward, oil companies have drug their feet and spent more money suing EPA and lobbying Congress to repeal the RFS than they have making blends such as E15 and E85 available to consumers.”

In 2013 alone, U.S. farmers and ethanol producers will sustainably produce more than 13 billion gallons of renewable fuel.  So much ethanol has been produced since enactment of the RFS that oil companies were able to stockpile 2.5 billion RIN credits to apply toward their 2013 obligations instead of buying actual renewable fuel.  To date, automakers have manufactured 15 million Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) to consume any ethanol-and-gasoline blend, from straight gasoline up to E85, and additional FFVs are rolling-off the assembly lines each year.  After two years of rigorous testing, EPA approved E15 safe to use in 75 percent of the standard vehicles on the road, and the Agency has skillfully exercised the flexibility Congress provided it to make adjustments to the RFS schedule the last three years.  Finally, retailers have installed dispensers enabling consumers to choose whether or not they want to buy ethanol-blended fuel.

Regarding 2014, EPA has already signaled it may reduce the total and advanced RFS volumes, with a proposed rule expected in September.  “The RFS waiver precedent is clear,” Jennings said. “Big Oil will need to provide evidence to EPA that the RFS will be the cause of severe harm to the economy in 2014.  Based upon the fact that ethanol is less expensive than gasoline and helps reduce pump prices for Americans, not to mention that safe and legal blends such as E15 and E85 ought to be made available to consumers, Big Oil’s allegations doesn’t add up.”

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Category: Policy

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