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RFS Field Hearing Testimony from Ron Lamberty

ACE Senior VP Ron Lamberty's full remarks for the RFS Field Hearing.

Testimony of Ron Lamberty

Senior Vice President

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE)


EPA Field Hearing on Renewable Fuel Standard RVOs for 2017

Kansas City, Missouri


June 9, 2016


Good Morning. My name is Ron Lamberty, and I am Senior Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE).  I’m here today to encourage EPA to enforce the Renewable Fuel Standard as it was written. Rather than repeat ACE’s ongoing objection to the Agency’s illegal use of the so-called blend wall” as a reason for reducing required volume obligations (RVOs) , today I want to use my time to help the Agency gain confidence that it is not only possible to go beyond 10% ethanol, it is already being done. Several retailers are here today to make that point clear, and others have provided me with numbers to share with you.

At a previous hearing, South Dakota retailer Bruce Vollan told EPA there is no blend wall “Unless petroleum marketers don’t give their customers any choices above 10%.” And while oil companies continue to contractually limit sales of blends above 10%, half of Bruce’s customers buy the higher ethanol blends he offers, and ethanol makes up more than 25% of his total gas volume.

In the first six months Petroserve USA offered E15 and flex fuels in six of their North Dakota convenience stores, their overall ethanol volume was 13.4%. Bosselman Enterprises offers higher ethanol blends in 8 of their Nebraska locations, and ethanol makes up 15% of their total car and light truck fuel sales at those stores.

ProTec is an E85 wholesaler currently supplying 289 stations from Maryland to Texas, and adding 300 more utilizing funds from USDA’s Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership. About half of Protec’s current stations sell E85 on one island, and it makes up 9-13% of total fuel sales at those stations. Newer locations offering flex fuels on multiple islands sell 18-28% flex fuels. That’s up to 32% renewable fuel, and while 9% E85 sales may not sound like much, that small amount of E85 boosts the stations’ overall ethanol sales to 17% - well beyond any so called E10 “blend wall.”

Finally, I’ve worked in the fuels industry for 38 years, and I recall the 1970’s when lead was being phased out of gasoline. The oil industry told EPA it was impossible and unnecessary. API said “the mass of evidence proves unquestionably that lead isn’t a significant factor in air pollution and represents no public health problem in any way.” If they removed lead, cars would “erode and explode.” The cost of replacing infrastructure would put refiners and retailers out of business. And it would prevent future oil exploration, all of which – as always – would lead to huge price increases at the pump.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because the oil industry attacks every environmental regulation that same way.

In the 90’s, they said EPA’s new underground storage tank regulations would lead to the disappearance of gas stations from small towns across the country. 15 years ago, the oil industry said reducing sulfur in gasoline would again destroy engines, and reducing sulfur in diesel fuel was essentially the equivalent of outlawing diesel vehicles.

Each time, EPA stood its ground. The changes were made, air and water quality improved and none of the predicted disasters ever happened.

Today, the oil industry makes the same kind of doomsday claims about infrastructure legality and cost, despite multiple reports from NREL and others proving the opposite, They talk about liability and engine damage, And they say the law is no longer needed.

Hey. They’re Big Oil. It’s what they do.

Two and a half years ago, Bruce Vollan also told EPA, “The secret to getting over the blend wall . . . is to TRY to get over the blend wall.” That has been proven true by a number of retailers, and I encourage EPA to also TRY to get over the blend wall. Stand firm as you have in the past, and enforce the RFS as it was written. Thank You.

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