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EPA must reduce biofuel mandates for 2014, API says in comments

Carlton Carroll | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, January 29, 2014 – EPA must roll back rising ethanol mandates, that put consumers at risk, until Congress can permanently repeal the program, API Senior Fuels Policy Advisor Patrick Kelly told reporters in a conference call to discuss comments submitted to EPA:

“Our major concern is that ever-increasing biofuel mandates could harm consumers, damage their automobiles, and create supply shortages that severely harm our still fragile economy. . . A study by NERA Economic Consulting shows higher ethanol mandates could lead to fuel rationing and supply shortages that, by 2015, could drive up the cost of gasoline by 30 percent and the cost of diesel by 300 percent. And, livestock groups say the mandate – which now diverts more than 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop from food to fuel – has been the leading driver of food price increases we’ve seen in recent years.

“EPA must lower the 2014 ethanol mandate to no more than 9.7 percent of projected gasoline demand. This will help reserve the choice of ethanol-free gasoline for consumers who want it. Also, EPA must bring their mandates closer to reality on cellulosic biofuels, which do not exist in commercial quantities. Finally, EPA must finalize these requirements as quickly as possible to get the annual rulemaking process back on track. By making these adjustments, EPA can create a welcome stopgap. . .But ultimately, we need a long- term solution for consumers from Congress.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 580 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.