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API on the 2014, 2015 and 2016 RFS proposal

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Below are highlights from comments made by Jack N. Gerard, API President and CEO on the EPA’s 2014, 2015 and 2016 RFS proposal.

“We were pleased to see that EPA proposes to use its authority to waive down ethanol mandates, acknowledging the threat to American consumers. But EPA assumes growing demand for high ethanol fuel blends that are not compatible with most cars on the road today, potentially putting American consumers, their vehicles and our economy at risk.

“Most cars on the road today are only approved by the manufacturer to use ethanol blends of 10% or less. Extensive testing by the auto and oil industries shows that higher ethanol blends can damage engines and fuel systems, potentially leaving drivers stranded. Even for the two most recent model years, 2014 and 2015, half of manufacturers do not recommend using E15 in their vehicles. For model years 2001 through 2011, zero manufacturers recommended operating their vehicles on E15. And automakers have told members of Congress they will not cover damage caused by E15 under new car warranties. EPA believes that more E15, a fuel mixture of 15% ethanol with gasoline, will allow the US gasoline market to accommodate more ethanol.”


“EPA also suggests in the proposal that more E85, a fuel mixture of up to 85% ethanol with gasoline, will help refiners meet the ethanol volume.”

“Only 6% of the current vehicle fleet can use E85. But even those motorists have largely rejected the fuel because ethanol is less energy dense than gasoline. That means lower miles per gallon, a tank of E85 won’t get you as far as a tank of gasoline.”

“Nationally, E85 demand is only 0.15% of overall gasoline demand. And demand in recent years has been relatively flat, despite more stations offering E85 as an option. This lack of E85 demand stands in stark contrast to the consumer demand for E0, non-ethanol gasoline, which EPA has ignored.”


“The data show that demand for E0 is strong and growing, from 3.4% of gasoline demand in 2012 to just shy of 7% in 2014. Consumers want E0 for their boats, for lawn equipment, and for motorcycles and older vehicles. The administration should not try to force the use of fuels like E85 and E15 for which there is no significant consumer demand while trying to eliminate fuels like E0 for which actual consumers have shown a substantial demand.”

Next steps

“Today’s announcement makes abundantly clear that the only solution is for Congress to repeal or significantly reform the RFS. But until Congress acts, EPA must do what it can to provide a stopgap to protect American families and businesses from rising ethanol mandates that threaten consumers and our economy.

“EPA must set the final ethanol mandate to no more than 9.7% of gasoline demand. This will help ensure drivers are not forced to put high ethanol fuel blends into cars and equipment that aren’t approved to use them. It will also help ensure supply of ethanol free gasoline for consumers who want it. Members on both sides of the aisle agree this program is a failure, and we are stepping up our call for Congress to act. Consumers’ interest should come ahead of ethanol interests.”

Edited from speech by Claira Lloyd

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