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Energy Tomorrow Blog

The Chorus of Concern on RFS Impacts

ethanol  cellulosic biofuels  renewable fuel standard  rfs34  e15  renewable energy  Environment  Energy Efficiency 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 9, 2013

A tactic used by ethanol backers trying to defend the relatively defenseless Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is attempting to frame the RFS debate as one between America’s oil and natural gas companies and renewable energy.

That’s faulty for a couple of important reasons. First, we’re Big Ethanol’s biggest customers, buying billions of gallons a year, as a useful additive in E10 gasoline. Second, our companies are for renewables, not against them, investing $81 billion in renewables and carbon-reduction efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions between 2000 and 2012 – nearly as much as all other U.S. industries ($91 billion) and more than the federal government ($80 billion).

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E15 and Check Engine Light Malfunctions (Take 2)

ethanol blends  epa  e15  engine safety  renewable fuel standard 

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted October 7, 2013

It lurks on every car or truck dashboard, the little indicator light that indicates potentially big problems with your vehicle’s engine. If you’re like me, a glowing “check engine” light elicits a groan, a facepalm and maybe some choice words – if not instant fear that the engine might conk out right then and there. In any case a visit to the repair shop is in my future. There, my mechanic will try to figure out what the heck could be causing the “Malfunction Indicator Light” (MIL), to come on. It might be a problem, or it might be a false alarm, in which case you’re still out the time and inconvenience of a wasted trip to the mechanic. 

Things to keep in mind as we revisit the issue of E15 fuel and falsely illuminating MILs, because research indicates that fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol could cause check engine lights to falsely illuminate.

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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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Energy Policy Matters

Policies  hydraulic fracturing  keystone xl  biofuels  ethanol 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted September 24, 2013

Progress, Not Perfection, in Tackling Global energy Challenges: WEC Report

Breaking Energy: The US, which ranks at number 15 on the 2013 Energy Sustainability Index, is facing serious challenges to improving its place on the index, and more importantly, its energy sector investment outlook, because of policy uncertainty. The recent moves by the Obama Administration to regulate carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants are, despite the President’s good intentions, “the worst kind of thing that can happen” in energy policy design, Mark Robson said. “The value of … doing nothing has gone up.”

“It’s not enough for the policy to be good, it needs to be implemented well,” MacNaughton said, echoing Robson’s point. Companies can now expect a period of lobbying and litigation over the EPA carbon rule adjustment proposal that delays investment and corporate decision making still further in a country with a rapidly aging power sector, MacNaughton said.

Read more: http://bit.ly/18nRBZQ

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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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Abundant Energy Means New Economic Opportunities for America

lng exports  hydraulic fracturing  north dakota  new york drilling moratorium  ethanol  rfs34 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted September 11, 2013

Obama Administration Allows More natural Gas Exports

Fuel Fix Blog: The Obama administration on Wednesday authorized a fourth company to broadly export U.S. natural gas, giving Dominion conditional approval to sell the fossil fuel abroad after processing it at a Maryland facility.

The Energy Department’s decision means that as long as it secures other required permits, Dominion Cove Point will be able to sell as much as 770 million cubic feet of natural gas per day for the next 20 years to Japan and other countries that do not have free-trade agreements with the United States.

With the Dominion Cove Point decision, the Obama administration has now authorized 6.37 billion cubic feet of liquefied natural gas to be sold to non-free-trade nations.

Read more: http://bit.ly/17QBo0W

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Apples, Oranges and Playing the NASCAR Card

e15  blend wall  ethanol 

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted September 10, 2013

Two recent news items:  First, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that U.S. gasoline consumption was about 50,000 barrels per day lower during the first half of 2013 compared to 2012 – despite an improving economy and slightly lower prices at the pump this summer. Second, Carl Edwards won NASCAR’s Federated Auto Parts 400 in Richmond, Va., over the weekend. What they have in common … is ethanol.

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Energy Today – August 21, 2013

hydraulic fracturing  ethanol  rfs34 

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted August 21, 2013

USA Today: What New Energy Landscape Means to USA

 When Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto unveiled a plan recently to allow private investment in his nation's energy production, it received relatively little notice. But it is a very big deal. Mexican oil has been the province of a government controlled-monopoly since the industry was nationalized in 1938.

Adding private sector know-how could easily increase production by 25% or more in a decade as new drilling technologies are brought to bear. This would add to an equally positive and unanticipated development: the vast increase in oil and gas production in the USA and Canada.

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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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