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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Comparing Apples to Corn – NASCAR and E15

e15  ethanol  engine safety  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 29, 2014

We posted a couple of times on a Chicago proposal to require city service stations to carry E15 (here and here). The good news is that this bad-news idea looks like it’s stuck in first gear. Local reports say a City Council committee took no action Monday after a marathon hearing ran out of gas (their pun, not mine).  

The discussion included an E15 claim that’s worth another dose of debunking – that NASCAR’s use of E15 proves its suitability for your car or truck. Michael Lynch, NASCAR’s VP for green innovation, spoke at the hearing:

“We’ve been running now for six million miles, Sunoco Green E15 – which is exactly the kind of street fuel that is being proposed here – with great performance, and no issues whatsoever.”

Sigh. The what’s-good-for-NASCAR-is-good-for-the-family-car line, seemingly impermeable to fact, is a special favorite of the ethanol crowd (that’s Sen. Al Franken joy-riding the ethanol wagon, here). Previous posts debunking the NASCAR comparison herehere and here, but with racing’s 6 million-mile milestone approaching, we’ll take another shot.

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Chicago Speaks Out Against E15 Mandate

e15  renewable fuel standard  ethanol lobby  engine safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 28, 2014

Chicago’s two largest daily newspapers both are editorializing against a proposed ordinance that would require the city’s gasoline stations to offer E15 fuel – a bad idea we debunked last week.

The Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune cite a number of similar reasons for opposing the E15 mandate: research showing vehicle engines could be damaged from using a fuel for which they weren’t designed or warranted; significant cost impacts on small business owners who would have to retrofit filling stations to accommodate mandated E15; and skepticism for E15’s promised benefits.

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A Commitment to Offshore Safety

oil and natural gas development  offshore safety operations  oil spill prevention  oil spill response  spill cleanup technology 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 21, 2014

The recent International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) in Savannah, Ga., underscored the oil and natural gas industry’s continuing commitment to safe energy development – using new technologies and deployed expertise to quickly and appropriately respond in the event of an accidental spill.

Below, check out a new video featuring conference attendees, talking about IOSC’s valuable role in bringing together experts, service providers and government officials in the broad effort to keep improving the safety of offshore oil and natural gas development.

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Keystone XL – Still a Good Idea

keystone xl pipeline  Environment  Economy  Energy Security  jobs  policy  pipeline safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 25, 2014

A year ago President Obama clarified his position on the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that for him to approve the project it would need to meet two tests – that KXL would be in the national interest and would not “significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

The second point first. The environmental test has been passed – five times, in fact. The U.S. State Department’s fifth environmental assessment – which examined the Keystone XL’s construction, operation and the impact of increased oil sands development as a result of the pipeline – concluded that the project would have no effect on oil sands production and no significant effect on the environment.

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Advancing Industry’s Safety Culture

center for offshore safety  safety standards  offshore development  oil and natural gas 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 16, 2014

Industry’s commitment to enhancing the safety to offshore energy development in the four years since the Macondo incident was reflected in a half-day program on prevention and response sponsored by the Center for Offshore Safety(COS) at last week’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston.

The COS hosted two panel discussions – one focused on developing effective safety systems, and a second that centered on the actions, processes and leadership needed to build strong safety cultures.

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Continually Raising the Bar on Safety

economic growth  oil spill prevention and response  Safety  Spill Prevention  spill response  dispersants  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 8, 2014

Highlights from API President and CEO Jack Gerard’s remarks at the 2014 International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC) in Savannah, Ga.:

  • The United States’ rise to energy superpower status, built on surging oil and natural gas production, will demand increased energy infrastructure.
  • Greater demand for energy will spotlight the oil and natural gas industry’s ability to develop reserves, but also how well industry transports and stores the energy it produces.
  • Continuing to add to and improve industry’s ability to prevent and prepare for spills, as well as its response if incidents occur, will be key to sustaining America’s oil and natural gas renaissance.

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Pipeline 101: Infrastructure That Fuels America

pipelines  pipeline construction  pipeline safety  oil and natural gas  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 29, 2014

Take a look at the fuels and products delivered every day by America’s sprawling network of liquid petroleum and natural gas pipelines, and you’ll develop a new appreciation for energy infrastructure: gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and other fuels and natural gas and heating oil for our homes. Plus feedstocks to make products ranging from eyeglasses to pharmaceuticals. Pipelines are integral for modern living.

That’s why API’s recently launched “Pipeline 101” website is an important resource – to better understand the need for pipelines, as well as how they work, how safe they are and more.

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A System that Decides in Favor of Safety

safe operations  offshore drilling safety  center for offshore safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 21, 2014

I sat in on a luncheon briefing for reporters last week that featured Charlie Williams, executive director of the Center for Offshore Safety (COS), which focuses exclusively on enhancing the safety of offshore oil and natural gas.

Williams, a long-time engineer with Shell before agreeing to lead the COS, talked about the center’s activities in interesting detail – all designed to ensure a continuing culture of safety in offshore energy operations. It starts with recognizing where threats to safety come from and erecting barriers to those threats, he said.

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Problems With a Planned Economy – RFS Edition

renewable fuel standard  ethanol  e15  epa standards  consumers  engine safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 21, 2014

With winter grudgingly giving way to spring, the guess here is discussion of the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard’s ethanol mandateshigher ethanol-blend fuels like E15 and the “blend wall” will rekindle debate in Congress.

Lawmakers must act, because while EPA has proposed lowering ethanol-mandate levels from 2013, the rule still isn’t final (it was due at the end of November last year) and would only temporarily address potentially harmful impacts of the blend wall – to consumers and the broader economy.

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