Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted December 11, 2018
As debates continue over the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its ethanol mandates, let’s remember that when the RFS was enacted more than a decade ago it was supposed to jumpstart a commercially viable cellulosic ethanol industry – ethanol made from the leaves, stems and other fibrous parts of a plant.
This has not happened. Far from it. Despite increased mandates under the RFS for cellulosic ethanol, those mandates have dwarfed actual production. The result is a costly proposition for American consumers and an object lesson on what can happen when government tries to use policy to favor a certain technology. Let’s explore the issue.
Posted November 19, 2018
EPA likely will need to take the lead in rescuing U.S. consumers from the potential negative impacts of the federal ethanol mandate, given the shrinking chance that Congress will pass significant reforms to the broken Renewal Fuel Standard (RFS) program.
That’s the view of the natural gas and oil industry, which continues to warn of the possible consumer risks posed by the RFS, which was launched before the shale energy revolution and has been largely made obsolete by surging domestic production.
Posted October 29, 2018
The Trump administration’s plan to push more high ethanol-blended E15 into the nation’s fuel supply doesn’t sit well with U.S. voters – for the consumer reasons we’ve been talking about for months (see here, here and here).
A new national survey of 1,001 registered voters across the country, conducted by Harris Poll, shows bipartisan concern about expanded sales of E15, which contains 50 percent more ethanal than E10 fuel, which is standard in the U.S.
Posted October 5, 2018
It may seem like there isn’t much “across-the-aisle” agreement in Washington these days, but amid reports the administration wants to facilitate year-round sales of E15 gasoline, a group of 20 Democratic and Republican senators has written to President Trump, criticizing the E15 proposal while urging him to protect consumers and join a meaningful discussion of addressing the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The rumored regulation, which would expand the sale of E15 by waiving certain Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements related to Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), is a one-sided approach to addressing RFS-related concerns, the senators wrote, which favors only one industry stakeholder.
Posted September 28, 2018
As President Trump has weighed the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its mandates for ever-increasing ethanol use, he asked EPA for a deal that works for all stakeholders and protects consumers.
Unfortunately, he didn’t get one.
In the current push to facilitate year-round sales of E15 gasoline, which contains 50 percent more ethanol than the E10 fuel that’s standard nationally, EPA is serving up a deal that’s lopsidedly unfavorable to the nation’s refiners and does nothing to protect consumers.
Posted September 27, 2018
With recent reports indicating that the EPA is moving to facilitate the year-round sale of E15 gasoline – which studies have shown could put consumers at risk – API and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) this week wrote a letter to President Trump urging the administration not to take actions that could negatively impact refiners.Specifically, EPA is preparing an extension to the one-pound Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver to E15 fuel, coupled with potentially problematic changes to Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market trading.
Posted September 25, 2018
More than three years ago we posted a blog with a humorous cartoon to highlight the distinctly unfunny risks that E15 gasoline poses for motorcycle-riding Americans. Unfortunately, as debate over ethanol mandates in the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) continues, those concerns remain. They’re heightened by the administration’s plan to facilitate year-round sales of E15, which contains 50 percent more ethanol than E10 fuel that’s standard across the country.That’s a problem for owners of motorcycles – and also owners of all-terrain vehicles – because using E15 in them can void warranties.
Posted September 18, 2018
For some time we’ve worked to spread the word about the potential risks to U.S. consumers posed by E15 fuel, which contains 50 percent more ethanol than E10 fuel that’s standard across the country. Now, with the administration thinking about facilitating E15 sales year-round, it’s a good time to revisit some of the specific ways E15 can negatively impact consumers. Such as boat owners.
Posted September 7, 2018
With the Trump administration considering a move that would push more E15 fuel into the nation's gasoline supply, API has a new ad warning that consumers could bear the risks of additional volumes of the higher-ethanol blend.
The ad touches on points we’ve made for years about the infusion of E15 (see here, here and here), spurred by the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The administration is thinking about facilitating the sale of E15 year-round. Currently, the Clean Air Act requires that E15 meet gasoline volatility requirements in the summertime. Key points in the ad: E15 can damage the engines and fuel systems of vehicles that weren’t designed to use it; nearly three out of four vehicles on the road today weren’t made to use E15; and automobile manufacturers have said using E15 could void car warranties.
Posted July 18, 2018
In the decade since the inception of the RFS, EPA has consistently implemented the mandate in a manner that dictates more and more ethanol into a fuels market regardless of whether market conditions can bear such an increase. The ever-increasing volumes of ethanol in the fuel supply – more than can be used in E10 gasoline - inefficiently pushes fuels such as E15 into the marketplace. This puts consumers at risk because three out of four vehicles in the U.S. fleet were not built to use E15, including some model year 2018 cars and trucks from BMW, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Volvo, among others. A number of automakers have said that using E15 could potentially void car warranties. Moreover, E15 is not compatible with motorcycles, boats, lawn equipment and ATVs.