EPA must do more to ensure Americans have access to fuels they want and can safely use in their vehicles until Congress can repeal the outdated Renewable Fuel Standard program outright, API President and CEO Jack Gerard told reporters in a conference call Friday following EPA’s proposal for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 RFS mandates. “Consumers’ interest should come ahead of ethanol interests,” said Gerard. “EPA assumes growing demand for high-ethanol fuel blends that are not compatible with most cars on the road today, potentially putting American consumers, their vehicles and our economy at risk.”
Higher ethanol blends can damage engines and fuel systems – potentially leaving drivers stranded, according to extensive testing by the auto and oil industries (here and here). The Congressional Budget Office found that consumers could see rising fuel prices unless EPA acts to lower mandates. API is asking EPA to set the final ethanol mandate to no more than 9.7 percent of gasoline demand to help avoid the 10 percent ethanol blend wall and meet strong consumer demand for ethanol-free gasoline.
Perhaps the most confusing aspect of today’s announcement is that the administration is pushing more corn ethanol at the same time they pursue a climate agenda to lower greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gerard. “The Environmental Working Group released a report showing EPA could lower U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by millions of metric tons each year if they reduce or eliminate the corn ethanol mandate. “Today’s announcement 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.”
API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry.