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ACE leadership testifies on fuel economy, emissions standards

Sioux Falls, SD (September 26, 2018) –American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings testified today during the public hearing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks.

Jennings’ testimony emphasized how ethanol-enriched, high octane fuel blends between 25 and 30 percent (in the 99-100 RON range) would enable automakers to simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improve fuel economy. The following are excerpts from Jennings’ testimony: 

“We are grateful EPA and NHTSA are seeking comment on how fuel such as 100 RON E30 can provide automakers flexibility to meet CAFE-GHG standards. Research indicates the use of 98 to 100 RON fuel containing at least 25 percent ethanol results in 3 to 9 percent efficiency gains in high-compression engines which are beginning to dominate the marketplace.

“Increasing the content of ethanol in gasoline is but one way to produce high octane fuel. We recognize refiners prefer 95 RON where additional octane is petroleum-derived and ethanol content is capped at 10 percent. Ultimately, however, EPA needs to weigh benefits and costs. In some wholesale markets today, unleaded gasoline costs nearly one-dollar-per-gallon more than ethanol.

“Not only will 98 to 100 RON fuel containing 25 to 30 percent ethanol save consumers compared to the premium-priced octane level being advocated by oil refiners, it is a more cost-effective approach for automakers to achieve meaningful efficiency gains and emission reductions.”

Below are steps ACE will recommend in its written comments and encourages EPA to take during its final rulemaking to enable high octane fuel to play a role in helping automakers meet the 2021-2026 standards, including:

  1. Establish or promote a minimum octane fuel rating in the range of 98 to 100 RON with 25 to 30 percent ethanol and propose or invite automakers to propose a corresponding certification fuel for engine testing purposes.
  2. Phase out the 85 AKI octane rating in high elevation areas of the country because automakers do not recommend it in their engines.
  3. Restore credits for automakers to produce flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) and establish new incentives for vehicles designed to achieve optimal efficiency on high octane ethanol blends.

ACE encourages ethanol supporters to utilize its Legislative Action Center to submit comments on or before the comment period deadline of Oct. 26. Click here for Brian Jennings' written testimony.

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