Frank Macchiarola remarks at press call on RFS new poll
As prepared for delivery
RFS new poll
Frank Macchiarola, API downstream group director
April 7, 2017
Good morning, and thank you for joining our call.
As Congress and a new administration consider next steps on the broken Renewable Fuel Standard mandate, today we highlight some important insights and concerns from the American voter about the RFS.
Consumers have spoken loud and clear. The results of a new national API poll on the ethanol mandate send another strong signal to policymakers that RFS reform is desperately needed.
The poll results shows that 74 percent agree that federal regulations could contribute to increased costs at the pump and 68 percent of registered voters are concerned about the government requiring increased amounts of ethanol in gasoline. Seventy percent also think that the use of more corn for ethanol could increase food prices. As we have stated before, the broken RFS mandate aims to force consumers to use high ethanol blends they don’t want and don’t need, and this recent survey shows that the American public is concerned about the increasing mandates for more ethanol under the RFS.
Nearly 85 percent of vehicles on the road today were not designed for higher ethanol blends, such as E15. And many automakers say that using E15 could potentially void new car warranties. Higher ethanol blends threaten engines and fuel systems – potentially forcing drivers to pay for costly repairs, according to industry testing. And the public remains uneasy about that, with three quarters of respondents expressing concern about breaching the blend wall.
The ethanol mandate could also impact the price at the pump. The Congressional Budget Office found that forcing ethanol consumption to statutory levels could cost consumers an additional 26 cents per gallon.
It is time for real RFS reform because the studies show the program does not benefit consumers. From recreational boaters and motorcyclists to environmental groups, an ever-increasing number of Americans are urging policymakers to fix the broken RFS mandate.
Finally, nearly 60 percent of voters oppose moving the point of obligation on the RFS, while only 20 percent support such a change. They recognize that – as the EPA noted in November – this shift could lead to a decrease in competition and a potential increase in fuel costs. We continue to believe that moving the point of obligation is wrong-headed and a distraction from real RFS reform, and we urge the EPA to affirm its proposed denial and reject petitions to move the point of obligation.
There is bipartisan agreement that the RFS is a failure. We continue to urge Congress to pass legislation to fix the program, but until there is a fix, EPA should provide relief from the unreasonable statutory mandate.
Thank you, and now I’ll be happy to take any questions you have.