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Energy Tomorrow Blog

renewable-fuel-standard  ethanol  e1534  epa-standards  consumers  engine-safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 21, 2014

With winter grudgingly giving way to spring, the guess here is discussion of the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard’s ethanol mandateshigher ethanol-blend fuels like E15 and the “blend wall” will rekindle debate in Congress.

Lawmakers must act, because while EPA has proposed lowering ethanol-mandate levels from 2013, the rule still isn’t final (it was due at the end of November last year) and would only temporarily address potentially harmful impacts of the blend wall – to consumers and the broader economy.

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renewable-fuel-standard  ethanol-blends  e8534  e1534  blend-wall 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted February 24, 2014

In recent years we’ve regularly disagreed with the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) because its ethanol mandates could harm consumers and the broader economy. The conversation with Big Ethanol has been, well, spirited. That said, hats off to RFA for including an oil and natural gas industry executive as one of the keynote speakers at the recent National Ethanol Conference (NEC).

Marathon Petroleum’s David Whikehart, director of product supply and optimization, was invited, said RFA’s Bob Dinneen, because “it is critical that we be open to the message of our customer.” A constructive view for sure.

The oil and natural gas industry supports ethanol and other renewable fuels. We are the ethanol industry’s biggest customer. Yet, the ethanol mandates in the RFS potentially could result in damaged vehicle engines as well as powerand marine equipment and already have played a part in higher food costs and other consumer impacts recently. All of the above threaten to erode critical public support for renewable fuels, which is why the RFS should be repealed.

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jobs  jobs-and-economy  oil-and-natural-gas-development  renewable-fuel-standard  e1534  keystone-xl-pipeline  fracking 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 30, 2013

As 2013 nears its end, noting some of the year's most popular Energy Tomorrow Blog posts:

Jobs = Job 1

PwC’s latest detailing of the economic impacts of oil and natural gas activity ranked the highest in readership. And why not: It’s a great story. PwC found that in 2011, the last year for which complete data is available, the industry recorded these key numbers:

  • 9.8 million full- and part-time jobs supported, directly and indirectly.
  • $1.2 trillion added to the economy, accounting for 8 percent of the national total.
  • Nearly $600 billion contributed in associated labor income – including wages, salaries, benefits and proprietors’ income.

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consumers  renewable-fuel-standard  ethanol-blends  e1534  e10-blend-wall  e8534  epa34 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 10, 2013

EPA held the first of a series of public hearings last week on its 2014 ethanol use proposals under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), during which the National Chicken Council’s Mike Brown observed that the Washington, D.C., hearing basically attracted three groups of people: ethanol producers, corn producers and “the rest of us.”

Quite a bit of truth there. The debate over the RFS finds ethanol backers fairly isolated in arguing that the RFS is fine the way it is and that higher-ethanol blend fuels – like E15 and E85 – should be pushed more aggressively into the marketplace to satisfy the program’s mandates.

The stance has them at odds a number of interests, including consumer and food groups, auto manufacturers, the makers of small-engine vehicles and equipment, turkey and chicken producers, restaurant owners and more. Strikingly, AAA, the venerable travel/motoring organization, has been criticized by Big Ethanol for opposing wider use of E15, which studies have shown could damage engines in vehicles not designed to use it. 

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e1534  renewable-fuel-standard  ethanol-in-gasoline  epa34  engine-safety 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 2, 2013

As EPA opens a 60-day comment period on its proposals for next year’s required ethanol use levels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), below is a light-hearted reminder that higher-ethanol blend fuels like E15 – which ethanol supporters advocate as a way to meet RFS mandates – pose significant risks for small engines.

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e1534  e8534  renewable-fuel-standard  consumers  epa34  aaa34 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 1, 2013

It’s understandable that supporters of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) might be anxious these days. Consider that EPA reportedly is thinking about lowering its 2014 ethanol mandates under the RFS, and that more than 160 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are urging the same in a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

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e1534  ethanol-blends  renewable-fuel-standard  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 31, 2013

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing more than 84 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers worldwide, is closely watching public discussion of the Renewable Fuel Standard’s ethanol mandates and the push for wider use of E15 fuel. That’s because the small engines its members build and supply aren’t designed for higher ethanol blends. A look at E15 from OPEI and others in the small-engine sector.

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renewable-fuel-standard  e1534  epa34  ethanol 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 25, 2013

For the American Bakers Association (ABA), the Renewable Fuel Standard is a market distorter, affecting acreage that’s devoted to growing wheat for food and impacting prices. Like the National Chicken Council, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and other groups, America’s bakers want relief from the detached-from-reality RFS.

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renewable-fuel-standard  e1534  ethanol-in-gasoline  regulation  epa34 

Bob Greco

Bob Greco
Posted October 24, 2013

In a recent video op-ed in USA Today, forum editor David Mastio explains why we use ethanol in gasoline. Don’t worry, it’s not a technical presentation. There’s no scientific or technical rationale given for adding ethanol to gasoline. Ethanol isn’t added to improve engine performance, it doesn’t improve fuel efficiency and, according to Mastio, it increases some kinds of pollution while decreasing others.

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renewable-fuel-standard  ethanol-in-gasoline  regulation  epa34  e1534 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 24, 2013

Let’s continue discussion of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), it’s detachment from market reality and its impacts on consumers – impacts that go well beyond the oil industry. Yesterday, we looked at the views of the National Chicken Council; today the view from the water, courtesy of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

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