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Energy Tomorrow Blog

An Open Letter to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association

e15  ethanol  renewable fuel standard  regulation 

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted October 3, 2013

Thanks for your recent invitation to your “Ride & Drive” event. We agree that teaching the public about cylinder leakage in engines using E15 is valuable. Unfortunately, your invitation was sent to the wrong recipient.

You say that the Coordinating Research Council (CRC), which has been the gold standard in terms of vehicle testing for the better part of a century, used an “arbitrary threshold” for cylinder leakage during E15 testing. You seem upset about the results on vehicle damage. Surely you meant to address the invitation to the auto manufacturers, who have stated their concerns that E15 will damage engines, void warranties and reduce fuel efficiency.

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Strong Public Concern About RFS Impacts

e15  ethanol  epa  renewable fuel standard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 2, 2013

Results from a new public opinion poll strongly suggest that action by EPA and Congress is warranted on the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Key findings from the Harris Interactive survey of more than 1,000 registered voters:

  • 77 percent said they’re concerned that using fuels containing ethanol blends above a 10 percent level can cause severe damage to car engines and fuel system components. They’re concerned that most auto manufacturers do not warranty their vehicles if the car’s owner runs it on fuels with a 15 percent ethanol blend.
  • 69 percent are concerned that diverting more and more corn into making ethanol will result in higher food costs.
  • 66 percent say regulation by the federal government could drive up the cost of gasoline for consumers.

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The Promise of New Opportunity From American Energy

lng exports  renewable fuel standard  shale benefits  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 18, 2013

Editorial: U.S. Right to Approve Cove Point LNG Export License

Washington Post: SOME BUILDING projects may be shovel-ready. Others are shovel-desperate: they are reasonable proposals that make economic sense and boast private backers but are being slowed or blocked by interest groups leaning on the government.

One that belongs in the second category is a plan to convert a natural gas import plant, an expensive facility in Cove Point, Md., that’s sitting idle, into one that can handle exports to gas-hungry Japan and India. The Energy Department approved the plan last week, but in Baltimore on Tuesday, a coalition of environmentalists and citizens groups promised to prevent the project from getting the 60 or so additional signoffs it needs. They should find a better use for their time.

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The Renewable Fuel Standard's 'Reality Gap'

renewable fuel standard  ethanol blends  blend wall  cellulosic mandates  epa 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 18, 2013

In a piece in Forbes, contributor Michael Lynch writes that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is “one of the worst-designed government policies since we had caverns full of surplus cheese.” Yeah, that’ll leave a mark.

Yet, Lynch's characterization is on target in the case of the broken, out-of-touch RFS – with its ever-rising mandates for ethanol use that are propelling us toward the refining “blend wall” and potential harm to consumers and the broader economy. Bob Greco, API’s group director of downstream and industry operations, detailed the “reality gap” reasons the RFS should be repealed in a conference call with reporters – reasons that also back industry’s request that EPA reduce the total renewable fuels volume requirement to a level below 10 percent of overall gasoline demand for 2014.


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On Fifth Anniversary, Keystone XL a Proxy for America's Energy Choices

keystone xl  renewable fuel standard 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 16, 2013

Debate Revs as Decision Stalls Over Oil Pipeline From Canada

NPR: Five years ago this week, a Canadian company proposed building a pipeline to send heavy crude oil from Alberta to U.S. refineries. Although the Obama administration's answer on the Keystone XL pipeline is not expected anytime soon, politicians in Washington and Canada are ramping up the pressure for the project, while environmentalists are pushing hard against it.

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Energy Today – August 26, 2013

hydraulic fracturing  renewable fuel standard  new york  Economy  Environment 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted August 26, 2013

New York's Choice is a natural One Times Union Commentary: Now that President Barack Obama and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have toured New York, it is worth considering the goals we should have for the 21st century, the role natural gas could play and what is broadly at stake. The world is watching New York. As the Earth's population grows from 7 billion to 10.5 billion, meeting future energy goals requires that the global energy supply expand from 15 terawatts to 75 terawatts. Because energy is prosperity, the expansion of supply must also be steady. Prosperity delayed, like justice delayed, has a high social cost. Read more: http://bit.ly/15cOxfG

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No Award for Bad Laws - RFS Edition

ethanol  renewable fuel standard  e15  e85  blend wall 

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted August 19, 2013

If you didn't see last week's USA Today editorial calling for repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), it's certainly worth reading. The editorial's key points:

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Off Target: EPA and Its Inflexible Ethanol Mandates

eia  epa  ethanol  renewable fuel standard  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 15, 2013

Interesting “Today in Energy” post from the able folks at the U.S. Energy Information Administration, recapping EPA’s final 2013 renewable fuels target volumes that were announced last week. No question, EIA is as intrigued as the rest of us by EPA’s mandates and their effect on fuels markets.

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Phantom Fuels Rise Again

cellulosic ethanol  renewable fuel standard  epa 

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted August 12, 2013

The EPA just can’t seem to deal with reality. Disregarding both experience and evidence, the agency chose to once again mandate a phantom fuel: cellulosic biofuel. Instead of setting fuel requirements at a realistic volume, as directed by Congress and a court order, the EPA ordered the use of 4 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel this year, even though it has yet to be produced in commercial volumes.

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Video: Fuel For Thought on the RFS

renewable fuel standard  ethanol  e15  blend wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 12, 2013

Our new ad does a pretty effective job summing up problems with ethanol mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

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