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API: legislative RFS reform needed

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has issued a statement announcing its disappointment with the US Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit’s decision not to uphold the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to exercise its waiver to lower the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume obligations for 2014 through 2016.

API Downstream Group Director, Frank Macchiarola, said: “EPA’s waiver was necessary to protect consumers from an outdated mandate that attempts to force the use of ethanol beyond the limits that the vehicle fleet and refuelling infrastructure were designed to handle.

“Today’s decision reaffirms the need for Congress to revisit and significantly reform the broken RFS programme. The outdated goals of the ethanol mandate have led to implementation challenges for EPA and the refining industry.”

The API argues that the US has transitioned from a net importer of refined petroleum products to a net exporter. As the world’s largest producer and refiner of oil and natural gas, the API believes that it is necessary to reform outdated energy policies to reflect the energy realities of today and tomorrow.

Macchiarola added: “API had supported EPA basing its waiver on the broader negative economic consequences of the mandate, and as EPA considers implementing a revised and retroactive standard for 2014 - 2016, we will encourage EPA to reconsider this option."

AFPM reaction

The President and CEO of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), Chet Thompson, said that the decision “underscores the need for meaningful and comprehensive reform of the Renewable Fuel Standard.” Mr Thompson added: “We are confident that EPA has additional authority they can exercise to address the blendwall and other challenges until this flawed program is either repealed or significantly reformed. The current policy is not sustainable and must be addressed by Congress to protect the best interests of the American consumer."

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