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Frank Macchiarola's remarks at blogger call on RFS proposal for 2017

As prepared for delivery

Blogger call on RFS proposal for 2017
Frank Macchiarola, API downstream group director

Good afternoon, and thank you for joining our call.

Last week, EPA released its proposal for the 2017 mandated biofuel volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

EPA raised the amount of ethanol required for next year despite the fact that consumers do not want and often cannot use fuels with higher ethanol blends in their vehicles.

Higher ethanol blends, such as E15, can damage engines and fuel systems – potentially forcing drivers to pay for costly repairs, according to extensive testing by the auto and oil industries. In fact, according to AAA, approximately 90 percent of vehicles on the road today were not designed for E15. And, automakers warn that using E15 can result in a voided new car warranty.

API has joined a chorus of voices sounding the alarm on E15 for drivers nationwide. The automotive group AAA cautioned its members against using E15, warning that these higher ethanol blends present potential for consumer confusion, misfueling, and vehicle damage. The Environmental Working Group, anti-hunger group ActionAid, livestock producers, and restaurants also oppose these ethanol mandates. Additionally, owners of marine equipment, classic cars, and small engines like lawnmowers often look for ethanol-free gasoline because higher level ethanol blends can damage the engines and fuel systems.

EPA’s proposal could also impact the price you pay at the pump, according to numerous independent reports. The Congressional Budget Office found that consumer gas prices could rise by 26 cents per gallon unless EPA lowers RFS mandates.

API is urging EPA to set the final ethanol mandate at no more than 9.7 percent of gasoline demand to ensure ethanol levels in gasoline stay below the 10 percent blend wall and meet strong consumer demand for ethanol-free gasoline.

EPA must do more to ensure Americans have access to fuels they want and can safely use in their vehicles until Congress fixes the outdated and broken RFS program.

Consumers’ interest should come ahead of ethanol interests.

EPA's proposal pushes consumers to use high ethanol blends they don’t want and that most cars on the road today were not designed to use. The proposal makes abundantly clear that the only solution is for Congress to repeal or significantly reform the RFS.

Members on both sides of the aisle agree this program is a failure, and we are stepping up our call for Congress to act.

Thank you, and I will be happy to take any questions you have.