The American Petroleum Institute said until Congress fixes the broken Renewable Fuel Standard, the Environmental Protection Agency must protect consumers from higher ethanol blended fuels that threaten vehicle engines and fuel systems. Patrick Kelly, Senior Fuels Policy Advisor delivered industry’s views during EPA’s public hearing in Ypsilanti, Michigan on the 2019 proposed biofuel obligations.

“The primary RFS concern is the ethanol blend-wall,” said Kelly. “Serious vehicle and retail infrastructure compatibility issues continue to exist with gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol. Three out of four cars on the road were not designed for higher ethanol blends like E15, and history demonstrates that motorists have largely rejected E85.

“The increases in gasoline demand projected at the inception of the RFS in 2007 did not materialize, nor did the commercialization of cellulosic biofuels. Congress provided the waiver authority that EPA should use to further reduce the 2019 volumes to avoid negative impacts on America’s fuel supply and prevent harm to consumers.”

API is urging EPA to not exceed 9.7 percent ethanol in the gasoline pool for 2019 to meet the strong demand for E0, or clear gasoline that continues to exist.

“The proposed volumes are an annual example of a broken government program. We continue to believe the best solution to fix the RFS is comprehensive legislation that includes a sunset of the program in 2022.  API continues to work with bipartisan leaders in Congress to come up with a comprehensive approach to fixing the outdated and broken ethanol mandate.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry.