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EPA states desire to get RFS back on track, but continues to side with Big Oil on blend wall

ACE Executive Vice President Brian Jennings comments on EPA's proposed RVOs for 2014, 2015, and 2016.

Sioux Falls, SD (May 29, 2015) - Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President for the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), today issued the following statement after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“Promises to get the RFS back on track and USDA funding for flex fuel pumps are appreciated, but EPA is yet again proposing to circumvent the RFS by limiting ethanol use to the amount oil companies are willing to blend with the gasoline they refine and not one gallon more.  It’s like the NFL saying it’s ok for the New England Patriots to deflate footballs while everyone else must play by the rules,” said Jennings.

As expected, proposed volumes for the 2014 RFS largely reflect actual use.  The Agency intends for renewable fuel use to increase from 2014 to 2016.  But EPA’s proposed blending targets for 2015 and 2016 fall back on the E10 “blend wall” methodology which has disrupted RFS implementation for more than a year.  Earlier this week the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory released a report confirming that most retail infrastructure is already compatible with E15.  The majority of cars on the road can use E15.

“EPA was forced to withdraw their original 2014 proposal because the law doesn’t allow them to use the blend wall to set levels and doing so undermines the integrity of the program.  The good news is that there is still time to get the RFS back on track,” Jennings said.  “We will provide ACE members and biofuel supporters a platform to once again blitz EPA with comments before the final rules are issued on November 30.”

EPA will hold a public hearing on the proposal June 25 in Kansas City, Kansas. The public has until July 27 to comment on the proposal. 

“A dangerous precedent could be set by EPA regarding the Clean Air Act,” said Jennings.  “If EPA is willing to let oil companies disregard Clean Air Act requirements to clean up motor fuel, how does it expect power plants to comply with their Clean Air Act proposal to curb carbon pollution?”

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