Today, PMAA met with the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to reiterate marketers’ concerns over the EPA’s pending corn ethanol proposed rule and the possibility of an E15 mandate to overcome the ethanol blend wall. The OMB reviews all proposed and final federal regulations for approval and mandates changes where necessary. PMAA reminded the OMB that marketers have no practical way to demonstrate existing underground storage tank (UST) systems are compatible with ethanol blends greater than E10 – a key legal hurdle – should the EPA mandate higher ethanol blends in the upcoming RFS proposal due out by December 1, 2015.
PMAA Executive Committee member Vern Kelley (Kelley Fuels, Shakopee, Minnesota) who is also a corn farmer highlighted to policymakers that UST infrastructure concerns with E10 plus blends DO exist and with ethanol prices trading at a premium to gasoline futures, the economics aren’t there for marketers to make the necessary investments to market higher ethanol volumes. PMAA urged EPA not to exceed 9.7 percent ethanol in the gasoline supply for 2016 in order to recognize the real world lack of demand for E85 and to allow marketers to continue to sell E0.
PMAA also told the Obama Administration that the compatibility demonstration guidelines adopted by the EPA Office of Underground Storage Tanks do not provide a realistic pathway to legally dispense E15 in existing UST systems. While marketers support ethanol blends, legislative and regulatory safeguards must be put into place to resolve not only the compatibility issue but also outstanding liability issues before E15 can be brought to market, PMAA said. PMAA also highlighted its rebuttal letter from earlier this year concerning the ethanol lobby’s attempt to downplay infrastructure concerns. Click here to read the letter.
Meanwhile, PMAA told the Obama Administration that it supported the proposed biodiesel blending volumes for 2016 and 2017 citing PMAA’s support for future biodiesel on-road blending. The proposed bodiesel volumes also support BioHeat® which coupled with Ultra-Low-Sulfur-Heating-Oil (ULSHO), burns cleaner than natural gas.