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Energy Tomorrow Blog

rfs34  policy 

Sabrina Fang

Sabrina Fang
Posted February 23, 2017

The recent push to shift responsibility for compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), from refiners and importers to independent blenders and retail gasoline stations, is a flawed approach that could impact consumers at the gasoline pump and does nothing to fix the larger set of problems that plague the RFS – problems Congress must address by repealing the program or significantly reforming it. API Downstream Group Director Frank Macchiarola discussed these issues during a conference call with reporters.

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100-days  renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  consumers  ethanol 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 21, 2017

There might not be a sharper contrast with the innovation- and market-driven success of the U.S. energy renaissance than the flawed federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – a program rooted in the era of U.S. energy scarcity that has been mostly closed by the ongoing surge in domestic oil and natural gas production.

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  consumers  ethanol 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 16, 2017

Changing the point of obligation under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – moving it closer to U.S. consumers – continues to distract from the real problems with the RFS that Congress should address, either by repealing or significantly reforming the program. Meanwhile, with a public commenting period on the proposal ending next week, a number of groups caution that the change could result in motorists paying more for gasoline.

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  ethanol  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 2, 2016

The history of the RFS is that EPA’s enthusiasm for the program has seen the agency mandate ever-increasing volumes of ethanol in the fuel supply, potentially putting consumers at risk by pushing fuels into the marketplace that could damage the engines of vehicles, motorcycles, boats and small power equipment. At the same time the RFS’ original purpose of developing a commercially viable, national supply of cellulosic biofuel has become submerged in a growing ocean of corn ethanol. In short, that’s where America and the RFS stand today.

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  consumers  ethanol  blend-wall 

Sabrina Fang

Sabrina Fang
Posted November 18, 2016

As congressional leaders set priorities for the end-of-year session, lawmakers should consider action on the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). There’s bipartisan consensus for addressing the RFS – either repealing it outright or making major reforms. This week, Frank Macchiarola, API downstream group director, conducted a conference call with reporters on the problems with the RFS and the need for congressional action.

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  ethanol  consumers 

Sabrina Fang

Sabrina Fang
Posted September 13, 2016

Changing the point of obligation under the RFS will not fix the blend-wall problem or address vehicle compatibility. Nearly 90 percent of vehicles on the road today were not designed for higher ethanol blends, such as E15.  And many automakers say that using E15 could potentially void those car warranties. These higher ethanol blends threaten engines and fuel systems – potentially forcing drivers to pay for costly repairs, according to extensive testing done by the auto and oil and natural gas industries.  Moving the point of obligation does nothing to address this fuel incompatibility problem.

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  consumers  ethanol  epa34  blend-wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 27, 2016

Two more results from the new Harris Poll on what Americans are thinking about key energy issues.

First, 77 percent of registered voters say they’re concerned about government requirements that would increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline. Second, 73 percent agree that federal government regulations could contribute to increased costs for gasoline to consumers.

Both results basically point fingers at the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) – which indeed is Washington pushing for more ethanol in gasoline, which experts and studies warn could impact consumers at the gasoline pump and at the repair shop.

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  ethanol  epa34  e1534  e8534  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 10, 2016

We often hear proponents of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) argue that mandating increasing use of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply is about consumer choice. This view is reflected in some of the news coverage of this week’s RFS public hearing in Kansas City.

Yet, when you look at the marketplace and the fuels consumers actually want, the RFS represents restricting choice, not expanding it.

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  gasoline-prices  epa34  economic-impacts  e1534 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 27, 2016

When you head out for your Memorial Day drive, consider the current price of gasoline – the U.S. average retail price of $2.30 a gallon, which the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says is 47 cents lower than at the same time last year and the lowest average price just before a Memorial Day weekend since 2009. 

Now, let’s all thank the U.S. energy revolution, which is playing a big role in consumer benefits, like those seen at the pump. EIA notes that lower gasoline prices reflect lower crude oil prices. And the global crude market wouldn’t be where it is without higher U.S. crude production. 

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renewable-fuel-standard  rfs34  consumers  epa34  ethanol  e1534  blend-wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 18, 2016

One unsettling aspect of the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is that for some time it has appeared – from public statements anyway – that EPA considers the program an ongoing experiment, testing the ability of government policy to change or modify the behavior of free markets and the fueling choices of individual consumers, with consumers as the guinea pigs.

The results were logged in long ago: Flaws in the RFS and EPA’s management of the program mark it for repeal or significant reform. RFS mandates for increasing ethanol use in the nation’s fuel supply threaten breaching the ethanol “blend wall,” risking impacts to the broader economy and consumers’ wallets.

Just as unfortunate is EPA’s apparent lack of concern for U.S. consumers –reflected in the agency’s proposals for 2017 volume levels, which will test the blend wall, the point where required use of ethanol in the fuel supply exceeds the safe level of 10 percent.


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