Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted February 16, 2017
Changing the point of obligation under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – moving it closer to U.S. consumers – continues to distract from the real problems with the RFS that Congress should address, either by repealing or significantly reforming the program. Meanwhile, with a public commenting period on the proposal ending next week, a number of groups caution that the change could result in motorists paying more for gasoline.
Posted December 2, 2016
The history of the RFS is that EPA’s enthusiasm for the program has seen the agency mandate ever-increasing volumes of ethanol in the fuel supply, potentially putting consumers at risk by pushing fuels into the marketplace that could damage the engines of vehicles, motorcycles, boats and small power equipment. At the same time the RFS’ original purpose of developing a commercially viable, national supply of cellulosic biofuel has become submerged in a growing ocean of corn ethanol. In short, that’s where America and the RFS stand today.
Posted November 18, 2016
As congressional leaders set priorities for the end-of-year session, lawmakers should consider action on the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). There’s bipartisan consensus for addressing the RFS – either repealing it outright or making major reforms. This week, Frank Macchiarola, API downstream group director, conducted a conference call with reporters on the problems with the RFS and the need for congressional action.
Posted October 18, 2016
The Renewable Fuel Standard, created a decade ago to strengthen U.S. energy security and benefit American consumers, is doing neither. The RFS is broken and should be repealed or significantly reformed – with the interests of consumers the top priority. That’s the message API Downstream Group Director Frank Macchiarola delivered during a conversation with a group of energy reporters this week.
Posted September 13, 2016
Posted August 18, 2016
Given the fact Iowa leads the U.S. in corn production (18.4 percent of the national total last year), it follows that the state would also lead the country in biofuel production. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Iowa is the country’s largest ethanol producer, supplying 27.3 percent of U.S. fuel ethanol operating capacity in 2015. Iowa also is a big wind state, ranking second among the 50 states in net electricity generation from wind last year. Yet, at the same time, EIA says fossil fuels supplied more than 70 percent of the energy Iowans used in 2014, further illustrating the all-of-the-above nature of energy at state and local levels.
Posted August 9, 2016
Thanks to an energy renaissance here in the United States, Americans driving to their summer destinations have been enjoying low prices at the pump. To keep this progress going, we need to end harmful policies that could raise the cost of energy and negatively impact millions of vehicles on the road.
As the EPA works to finalize its 2017 Renewable Fuel Standard volumes, API is launching a new multi-faceted advocacy campaign that will include TV and online advertising. Our campaign will focus on how higher ethanol mandates can hurt consumers, potentially raise costs and possibly void automobile warranties.
Posted June 27, 2016
Two more results from the new Harris Poll on what Americans are thinking about key energy issues.
First, 77 percent of registered voters say they’re concerned about government requirements that would increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline. Second, 73 percent agree that federal government regulations could contribute to increased costs for gasoline to consumers.
Both results basically point fingers at the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – which indeed is Washington pushing for more ethanol in gasoline, which experts and studies warn could impact consumers at the gasoline pump and at the repair shop.
Posted June 10, 2016
We often hear proponents of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) argue that mandating increasing use of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply is about consumer choice. This view is reflected in some of the news coverage of this week’s RFS public hearing in Kansas City.
Yet, when you look at the marketplace and the fuels consumers actually want, the RFS represents restricting choice, not expanding it.
Posted May 18, 2016
One unsettling aspect of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is that for some time it has appeared – from public statements anyway – that EPA considers the program an ongoing experiment, testing the ability of government policy to change or modify the behavior of free markets and the fueling choices of individual consumers, with consumers as the guinea pigs.
The results were logged in long ago: Flaws in the RFS and EPA’s management of the program mark it for repeal or significant reform. RFS mandates for increasing ethanol use in the nation’s fuel supply threaten breaching the ethanol “blend wall,” risking impacts to the broader economy and consumers’ wallets.
Just as unfortunate is EPA’s apparent lack of concern for U.S. consumers –reflected in the agency’s proposals for 2017 volume levels, which will test the blend wall, the point where required use of ethanol in the fuel supply exceeds the safe level of 10 percent.