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RFS remains flawed and needs to be reformed to protect consumers, API previews comments on EPA’s proposed 2019 Renewable Volume Obligations

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WASHINGTON, August 16, 2018 – Today the American Petroleum Institute reminded policymakers that the ethanol mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard is broken and should be repealed or significantly reformed. During a conference call with reporters, API Downstream Group Director Frank Macchiarola previewed API’s comments to EPA’s proposed rule-making for next year’s RFS volumes, urging the administration to protect consumers from an outdated mandate.

“This mandate has the potential for real negative consequences, such as forcing consumers to buy higher levels of ethanol than most engines were designed to accommodate and putting engine systems at risk,” said Macchiarola. “Today, most gasoline contains 10 percent ethanol by volume. However, if the RFS requirements are implemented at unreasonable, mandated levels, our nation could exceed this level of ethanol in the fuel mix.

“Automakers have warned that these increased blends of ethanol could harm engines and fuel systems and potentially impose costly repairs on consumers that are not covered by warranties. Three out of four vehicles in the U.S. fleet were not built to use E15, including many model year 2018 vehicles, and this fuel is not compatible with motorcycles, boats, lawn equipment and ATVs.

“One original purpose of the RFS - developing a commercially viable supply of cellulosic biofuel - has not come to fruition. At the same time, the program’s aim of reducing U.S. reliance on imported crude oil is being accomplished not by the ethanol mandate, but rather, by surging domestic oil and natural gas production, thus transforming the U.S. from a nation of energy dependence and scarcity to one of energy security and abundance. API continues to advocate for a comprehensive legislative fix to this flawed and outdated mandate, but in the interim we urge the EPA to proceed with caution as they attempt to implement this broken program.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 47 million Americans.