The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

New Campaign: For RFS Repeal

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted July 15, 2013

API has launched a new ad campaign, “Fuel For Thought,” to let Americans know about the potential harm posed by ethanol mandates under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – potential harm to individual consumers and their investments in their vehicles and to our economy as a whole.

The campaign consists of television, radio and print ads and a website, FillUpOnFacts.com, designed to explain the risk to millions of vehicles on the road today from gasoline containing higher levels of ethanol. Here’s the television ad:


During a conference call with reporters, Bob Greco, API group director for downstream and industry operations, reiterated that the RFS is “broken beyond repair.” Greco:

“These new ads will encourage more Americans to tell the White House to fix the problem before it’s too late, while urging Congress to completely repeal the RFS. Additionally, these ads drive people to our new website, FillUpOnFacts.com, where they can learn more about how the RFS can harm their vehicle and could disrupt the nation’s fuel supply.”

This is an important campaign because ever-increasing ethanol mandates under the RFS are pushing refiners toward the “blend wall” – the point at which they have to blend more ethanol into gasoline than is safe for nearly 95 percent of the vehicles on the road today. A chorus of voices is expressing concern about the RFS and potential risks to vehicles, including AAA, auto manufacturers and others.

Beyond potential vehicle damage, continued implementation of the RFS could have severe economic impacts. A study by NERA Economic Consulting found that by 2015 the U.S. could see disruptions in the fuel supply as refiners run out of effective options to meet the federal ethanol mandate. According to NERA, refiners could be forced to reduce their biofuel obligation by reducing fuel production or by exporting fuel, because exported gasoline and diesel aren’t subject to the RFS. NERA spells out the potential economic consequences:

  • 300 percent increase in the cost of diesel.
  • 30 percent increase in the cost of gasoline.
  • $770 billion decrease in U.S. GDP and a $580 billion decrease in take-home pay for American workers because of reductions in the domestic gasoline and diesel fuel supply.

Greco:

“Any one of these outcomes is a crisis. Taken in total these consequences will cause severe economic harm to America’s economy as a whole and to virtually all consumers. Bottom line, the NERA study points to a direct causal link between the RFS program, reduced domestic fuel supplies and ultimately higher costs for consumers of all commercial products. … That’s why we urge EPA to immediately reduce the total renewable fuels volume requirement to a level below 10 percent of overall gasoline demand and full waive the cellulosic ethanol requirement for 2013.”

API has mobilized a grassroots network of more than 15 million concerned citizens to contact the White House and Congress about the RFS. Greco:

“Oil and natural gas companies invest in biofuels, which can have desirable blending properties, and nearly every gallon of gasoline today is blended with up to 10 percent ethanol.  Ethanol and other biofuels will continue to be blended into the fuel supply after the RFS is repealed. However, we cannot allow an ever-increasing biofuels mandate to continue when it is unsafe for consumers and could put our economy at risk.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.