American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings issued a statement today responding to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment hearing on the discussion draft “21st Century Transportation Fuels Act,” which proposes an exchange of a national (95 RON) octane fuel requirement for repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Below is Jennings’ statement:

“The draft legislation recently made public by Representatives John Shimkus of Illinois and Bill Flores of Texas draws attention to why higher octane fuel is needed but fails to chart a sufficient course for how to get there. Requiring automakers to warranty their vehicles to operate on a minimum 95 RON fuel (about the same as today’s premium) in exchange for effective repeal of the RFS will not improve fuel quality by increasing ethanol use, rather, it is a mechanism to undo the competition-forcing core of the RFS and limit ethanol use to current volumes.

“In fact, while the legislative draft implies support for E20 blends, a recent study commissioned by the Energy Information Agency (EIA) concluded refiners could easily meet a 95 RON standard using just 10 percent ethanol.

“If the goal of the legislation is to increase the octane of motor gasoline, refiners cannot be allowed to insist on man-made limits just because they prefer not to use ethanol, which happens to be the lowest-cost and lowest-carbon source of octane on the planet. There may be ideas in the legislative draft which, in isolation, might seem appealing, but the net effect of the entire legislative package would be very harmful to the ethanol industry and farmers who need pro-growth policies.”