WASHINGTON ‘ In a conference call with reporters today, API’s Downstream Group Director Bob Greco announced a television, radio, and online advertising campaign asking the White House to leave politics aside as they finalize the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements and focus on what is best for consumers. Greco called on the White House to lower ethanol mandates to avoid the 10 percent ethanol blend wall and the potentially severe economic damage that goes along with it.
‘Unfortunately, the administration seems to be playing politics with the RFS rule instead of doing what’s best for consumers,” Greco said. ‘You don’t have to be a political insider to see how the Iowa Senate race’and the White House fear of losing control of the Senate’plays into this decision.”
Greco said the group is concerned that, after first proposing to lower the ethanol mandate to better coincide with the realities of today’s gasoline consumption, EPA may raise ethanol requirements based on the specious reasoning that E85 ‘ a mixture of up to 85 percent ethanol with 15 percent gasoline ‘ is a workable solution.
Greco explained that E85 demand is only 0.15 percent of overall gasoline demand and that this lack of E85 demand stands in stark contrast to the consumer demand for E0 ‘ non-ethanol gasoline ‘ which has recently grown to 5 percent of gasoline demand.
‘We’re also concerned by recent statements from EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy that the agency will raise ethanol requirements based on the latest gasoline demand figures for 2014,” Greco said. ‘But refiners cannot plan for compliance with regulatory requirements that change later in the year. And when companies must comply retroactively like they will again this year, it borders on the impossible.
‘EPA has shown more concern for mandating fuels for which there is no demand than it has for protecting fuels for which actual consumers have shown a substantial demand.
‘The ethanol blend wall is real, and the administration can’t use gimmicks to avert it.”