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Energy Tomorrow Blog

EPA Poised to Push Consumers Into The Blend Wall

renewable fuel standard  rfs34  e15  e85  epa  ethanol  blend wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 28, 2015

Next month EPA is scheduled to finalize 2014, 2015 and 2016 ethanol-use requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – and where EPA sets the volume standards could have big impacts on consumers and our economy.

API is launching a new advertising campaign – TV, radio and online – to underscore problems with the RFS and the need for Congress to repeal or significantly reform the program. 

We’ve been talking about flaws in the RFS for some time, and the chorus of voices has grown because requiring increasing volumes of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply could affect vehicle owners, consumers paying for fuel and food, the environment and the global food supply

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And Yet Another RFS Warning

analysis  renewable fuel standard  rfs34  ethanol  economic impacts  e15  e85  epa 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 9, 2015

NERA Economic Consulting has a new study warning of potentially dire economic impacts from continued implementation of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), as written into law by Congress.

NERA set up its study that way for good reasons: Despite abundant evidence that RFS mandates for ever-increasing ethanol use in the nation’s fuel supply are detached from reality, and although it’s pretty clear EPA has mismanaged the RFS to the detriment of those obligated to meet its mandates – the ethanol industry insists that the program continue as statutorily set out in 2007.

That, according to NERA, is a roadmap to potential economic calamity and consumer pain.

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Consumers, Small Businesses and the RFS

analysis  renewable fuel standard  rfs34  e15  e85  epa  regulation 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 2, 2015

Finalized federal requirements for ethanol use in 2014, 2015 and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) are scheduled to come out later this year. As EPA completes work on them, the interests of American consumers should be put ahead of special ethanol interests. At the same time, policymakers should recognize that the RFS is broken, out of date and should be repealed.

Ethanol supporters argue that RFS mandates can be met by pushing out more E15 and E85 fuel, which contain higher levels of ethanol than E10 gasoline that’s standard across the country. But this would disregard potential risks to consumers and small businesses. A number of organizations argue that point in official comments to EPA on the RFS, which can be found here.

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Energizing Oklahoma

analysis  oklahoma  biofuels  e15  energy  ethanol  gasoline prices  pricewaterhousecoopers  renewable fuel standard  wood mackenzie 

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 20, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Oklahoma. We started the series with Virginia on June 29 and reviewed Hawaii, Idaho and Vermont this week. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.

As we can see with Oklahoma, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.

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Energizing Idaho

analysis  idaho  income  e15  economy and energy  ethanol  gasoline prices  renewable fuel standard  pricewaterhousecoopers  wood mackenzie 

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 18, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Idaho. We started the series with Virginia on June 29 and reviewed Hawaii to begin this week. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.

As we can see with Idaho, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.

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Energizing Iowa

analysis  iowa  biofuels  e15  epa  ethanol  gasoline costs  renewable fuel standard  pricewaterhousecoopers  wood mackenzie 

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 11, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Iowa. We started the series with Virginia on June 29 and reviewed Montana to begin this week. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.

As we can see with Iowa, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.

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NASCAR and E15: Raising the Yellow Flag

analysis  e15  renewable fuel standard  rfs34  ethanol  regulation  epa 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 7, 2015

NASCAR racing team owner Richard Childress has an op-ed in the Charlotte Observer this week in which he renders a full-throttle endorsement of E15 gasoline and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the federal program that requires more and more ethanol be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.

Childress focuses on the specially formulated E15 (98 octane rating, compared to 90 octane in retail E15) that NASCAR uses in its customized, high-performance engines (725 horsepower, compared to 120 horsepower in a typical car engine, up to 200 horsepower in a large SUV).

Certainly, NASCAR racecars and the NASCAR-blend E15 are well-suited for each other. Less clear is why Childress is so enthusiastic about putting commercial-grade E15 in a car or truck, especially those built between 2001 and 2013 – something most car manufacturers don’t recommend.

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Energizing South Dakota

analysis  south dakota  biofuels  e15  energy  ethanol  income  renewable fuel standard  pricewaterhousecoopers  wood mackenzie 

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 6, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with South Dakota. We started the series with Virginia on June 29 and reviewed Florida, Kansas and Maryland earlier this week. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.

As we can see with South Dakota, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.

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Energizing Kansas

analysis  kansas  e15  biofuels  income  regulation  renewable fuels standard  ethanol  wood mackenzie  pricewaterhousecoopers 

Reid Porter

Reid Porter
Posted August 4, 2015

Our series highlighting the economic and jobs impact of energy in each of the 50 states continues today with Kansas. We started the series with Virginia on June 29. All information covered in this series can be found online here, arranged on an interactive map of the United States. State-specific information across the country will be populated on this map as the series continues.

As we can see with Kansas, the energy impacts of the states individually combine to form energy’s national economic and jobs picture: 9.8 million jobs supported and $1.2 trillion in value added.

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Hearing More About the Dysfunctional RFS

analysis  renewable fuel standard  rfs34  epa  ethanol  e85  e15  blend wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 21, 2015

With another congressional hearing on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) scheduled this week, a couple of glimpses behind the curtain at EPA help explain why the RFS is dysfunctional and needs to be repealed or dramatically overhauled.

Glimpse No. 1 comes from a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing last month, chaired by Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma. The witness was EPA’s Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the office of air and radiation. Tune in at about the 1-hour, 24-minute mark of the archived video to see Lankford’s discussion with McCabe about how EPA sets annual ethanol use requirements under the RFS.

The overriding issue is the ethanol “blend wall” – the point where the RFS requires blending more ethanol into the national fuel supply than can be used in E10 gasoline. At that point some think that higher ethanol-blend fuels like E15 and E85 will help meet RFS ethanol mandates. But E15 can cause damage to engines and fuel systems in vehicles that weren’t designed to use it – as well as outdoor power equipment, boats and motorcycles. And E85 is less energy-dense than standard gasoline – getting fewer miles to the gallon. It represents a tiny fraction of overall gasoline demand, a strong signal from consumers.

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