12/12/2013

EPA Finally Admits Fuel Standards Place Unrealistic Demand On Refiners

Posted by Brian

EPA on the Renewable Fuel Standard: Uhm, we’re totally just now realizing that this is unrealistic and inadvisable
POSTED AT 1:01 PM ON DECEMBER 11, 2013 BY ERIKA JOHNSEN


It is one heck of a bizarre, twisted role reversal when the Environmental Protection Agency is the one acting as the voice of reason in any of their countless political battles, but I take it as a testament to just how deeply messed up this entire Renewable Fuel Standard debacle really is. Big Ethanol flew into an almighty uproar last month when the EPA announced that they were finally planning to relent on their scheduled increases to the biofuel volumes that refiners are required to blend into the nation’s fuel supply, and the powerful lobby has been hinting that they will challenge the EPA’s legal authority to make any adjustments to the RFS other than ones that continue to expand the mandate.

In other words, ethanol producers would really like the EPA to just flatly deny the undeniable reality that refiners are running up against the “blend wall,” a.k.a. the point at which mixing the required volumes will exceed the 10 percent ethanol threshold that auto manufacturers deem acceptable for use in cars and trucks, largely because the RFS’s crucial assumption that Americans will continue to consume an ever-increasing amount of gasoline hasn’t actually panned out.
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