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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Reconsider a Bad Deal on the RFS

consumers  renewable fuel standard  e15  ethanol  refiners 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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New Ad: E15 Push Puts Consumers at Risk

consumers  e15  renewable fuel standard  ethanol  gasoline  refiners 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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Harnessing America’s Energy Opportunity

american energy  engineers  education  refiners  fracking  pipelines  gasoline 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted April 2, 2015

Indy Star: Kalese Hoggard is spending part of her spring break back in the classroom, but she's not learning from books. She's working with a team of students to build rockets and robots at Walker Career Center. It's fun, she said, but there's a more important reason: "Women engineers — we need more of them. And I'm going to be one. Or a neurologist," she said. Kalese is among 20 eighth-grade girls from Stonybrook, Raymond Park and Creston middle schools in Warren Township who are participating in Gateway Academy STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Camp.

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'Blend Wall,' Cellulosic Mandate, Uncertainties Beg Congress to Act on RFS

renewable fuel standard  cellulosic biofuels  epa proposals  ethanol  refiners 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 18, 2013

More on EPA’s proposed levels for 2014 ethanol usage that were unveiled last week. While the agency rightly acknowledged the existence of the refining “blend wall” by proposing a lowering of how much ethanol must be blended into the U.S. fuel supply under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), it doesn’t go far enough. The blend wall still looms, and so does EPA’s insistence on requiring millions of gallons of phantom cellulosic biofuels.

We covered the blend wall issue when EPA released its proposal last week. Breaking through the blend wall, requiring refiners to put more ethanol into the fuel supply than is safe for millions of vehicles on the road today, could leave consumers stuck with repair bills and could harm the broader economy, according to a study by NERA Economic Consulting.

Let’s look at cellulosic. We refer to it as the “phantom fuel” because over the past few years EPA has required refiners to blend millions of gallons of it into the fuel supply when none was commercially available (2010 and 2011), or when very little was available (2012) – and then forced refiners to purchase credits from the government because they didn't use a non-existent fuel. This year looks to be similar. EPA’s 2013 mandate requires 6 million “ethanol equivalent” gallons, but to date only about 359,000 gallons have been produced.


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Energy Today – May 14, 2013

fracking  hydraulic fracturing  keystone xl pipeline  natural gas  refiners 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted May 14, 2013

Energy Biz Shale Gas Shifting Global Energy Map

The global development of shale gas  has the potential to boost worldwide natural gas supplies and help reduce market costs, writes Siemens Financial Services President Kirk Edelman. “For the U.S., the shale gas boom is still perhaps only a potential game changer, however, if realized, the economic benefits will be significant.”

Breaking EnergyThe Science Behind the Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

Breaking Energy recaps the congressional Energy and Environmental Subcommittees’ joint hearing on the Keystone XL pipeline last week. Rep. Chris Stewart noted  that Keystone XL has been under review for more than four years, which is how long  it took to fight World War II, build most of the transcontinental railroad and the typical length of a college education.

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An Artificial Solution to Arbitrary Mandates

ethanol  renewable fuel standard  refiners  e85 

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted March 18, 2013

The Renewable Fuels Association this morning tweeted:

RFA Tweet

This is in many ways progress in that it is a de facto admissionthat RIN prices are rising because we are hitting the “blend wall” on ethanol, and that a solution is needed.  Unfortunately the solution in this case is crazy.

 From Platts:

Well-known energy economist Phil Verleger several years ago first brought up the likelihood that the refining industry might need to promote the sale of E85 as a way around the Gordian knot of a 10% ethanol blendwall combined with a rising mandate for the use of renewable fuels plus a decline in gasoline demand in the US…“The obvious solution to the RIN price problem involves no EPA intervention and no regulatory action at this point,” Verleger writes. “It simply calls for boosting E85 sales.”

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More Court Challenges for EPA's GHG Regulations

carbon dioxide  carbon dioxide emissions  clean air act  co2  congress  de facto moratorium  domestic energy  energy policy  environmental protection agency  epa  ghg  ghg emissions  greenhouse gas  greenhouse gas emissions  over regulation  permits  refiners 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 11, 2010

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plan to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is being challenged in court--again. The most recent suit was filed Thursday by more than 90 companies and trade associations which are questioning the EPA's finding that GHGs endanger public health. 

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Changes In Store for Heating Oil

air quality  biodiesel  biofuels  department of energy  domestic energy  energy policy  fuel blends  heating oil  over regulation  refiners  ultra-low sulfur diesel 

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted September 27, 2010

Changes are planned for heating oil in the Northeast. In the region of the country where the preponderance of heating oil customers are located, several states are reducing the amount of sulfur allowed in the fuel. 

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