Carr warns don’t repeat history with “fuel neutral” performance standard

May 12, 2018 |

In Washington, D.C., Mike Carr, Executive director of New Energy America and former principal deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the Department of Energy, said that repeating history with octane biofuel standards is a huge mistake. Carr refers to the bait and switch that happened when the oil industry chose another oxygenate to meet their obligations: methyl tertiary butyl ether, or MTBE, instead of ethanol or biofuels which contain high levels of oxygen.

“The law was into effect from 1992 to 2005, and MTBE saturated more than 85 percent of the marketplace for oxygenates,” said Carr. “MTBE is truly nasty stuff that leaches into groundwater. Congress did the right thing in 2005, effectively replacing the oxygen standard with the RFS as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The RFS, together with MTBE liability concerns, essentially ended the use of the chemical in the United States.

But Carr warns that “Now, refiners are back, with the same old pitch. Oil refiners are simply dusting off the old playbook — get renewable fuel supporters and lawmakers to buy into a “fuel neutral” performance standard, then use the “optionality” to get toxic petrochemicals back into the fuel supply.”



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Category: Policy

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