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Energy Tomorrow Blog

U.S. Energy Renaissance, RFS and Needed Reform

renewable fuel standard  consumers  ethanol  blend wall  e15  e85 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 1, 2017

With EPA receiving public input this week on its proposed ethanol-use volumes for 2018, it’s important to see that America’s energy renaissance in natural gas and oil production is the biggest reason for the progress the U.S. has made toward those RFS objectives. 

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The RFS and Real Consumer Choice

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  ethanol  epa  e15  e85  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 10, 2016

We often hear proponents of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) argue that mandating increasing use of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply is about consumer choice. This view is reflected in some of the news coverage of this week’s RFS public hearing in Kansas City.

Yet, when you look at the marketplace and the fuels consumers actually want, the RFS represents restricting choice, not expanding it.

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Hitting the Wall on the RFS

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  blend wall  ethanol  epa  e15  e85 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 25, 2016

To understand why the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) must be repealed or significantly reformed, start at the “blend wall.”

The ethanol blend wall is where – because of the RFS’ mandates – more ethanol must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply than can be absorbed as E10 gasoline – gasoline containing up to 10 percent ethanol, which is standard across the country. Put another way, when ethanol makes up more than 10 percent of the total U.S. fuel mix, you’ve breached the blend wall.

At that point refiners have few options. They can produce E15 and E85, fuels containing higher volumes of ethanol, or they can comply with the RFS by reducing the amount of fuel supplied to the domestic market. Neither is a good choice for American consumers.

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