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API: EPA must provide stopgap on RFS until Congress can act

WASHINGTON, October 24, 2013 – EPA must lower increasing ethanol mandates in its Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) proposal for 2014 in order to protect consumers and our economy from a looming disaster until Congress can repeal the program once and for all, API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco told reporters in a conference call today:

“Rigid mandates of the RFS have no place in today’s energy market. . .The RFS was based on gasoline use rising significantly when the opposite is occurring. . .In what is termed the ethanol blend wall, consumers are now faced with putting more ethanol in their tanks than their engines were designed to accommodate. . .We cannot allow the outdated RFS mandate to harm consumers or put our nation’s economy at risk. That’s why we need EPA to act immediately to provide relief for consumers while we continue to work with Congress to enact a full repeal.

“In our meetings with EPA and OMB officials, we’ve asked the agency to set 2014 total ethanol requirements at or below 9.7 percent of projected gasoline demand. By EIA’s latest projection, that would mean lowering the mandate to -- at most – 12.9 billion gallons of ethanol. This would help us avoid the ethanol blend wall for now while also preserving the availability of ethanol free gasoline for consumers who demand it, especially boaters and owners of older vehicles and motorcycles.

“We also continue to demand that EPA base its cellulosic mandates on actual production rather than projections that – year after year – have fallen far short of reality. Finally, we’re prepared to file suit should EPA fail to finalize the 2014 requirements by the statutory deadline of November 30.”

Passing the blend wall could cause a drastic reduction in America’s fuel supply, possibly leading to dramatic fuel cost increases and fuel supply disruptions rippling adversely though the economy, according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting.

API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 550 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.
  • Biofuels
  • Economy