WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the EPA released the proposed annual Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) mandates covering 2014, 2015 and 2016 just ahead of the court-ordered June 1 deadline.
The corn ethanol volumes within the proposal call for 13.25 billion gallons in 2014, 13.4 billion gallons 2015 and 14 billion gallons in 2016. The proposal is required to be finalized by November.
As it stands, if finalized, the blend wall will be breached next year resulting in widespread increased availability of E15 in the market. This, in addition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plan to inject $100 million in funding to get more ethanol at the gas pump, will contribute significantly to the opportunity for consumer misfueling, particularly for boaters as 97 percent fill up at retail gas stations.
NMMA opposes the proposed levels announced today and feels strongly that it is incumbent upon EPA to take aggressive action to educate consumers about E15, as it has thus far failed to do so.
“The three year combined rule released by the EPA today marks yet another step backwards with regard to the Renewable Fuel Standard. The RVOs announced will make it increasingly difficult for consumers to obtain low-ethanol and ethanol-free fuel blends required to run many engines successfully and will further promote the expansion of E15 — a known harmful fuel to marine and off road engines. If the EPA must continue to stand by the introduction of high ethanol blended fuels, at the very least it should engage in widespread public outreach efforts to educate consumers on the problems they may face including engine damage, voided warranties and costly repairs,” said NMMA’s Nicole Vasilaros, vice president of legal and federal affairs, of the announcement. “As we’ve said before, the RFS is a broken law which sets unrealistic fuel mandates. It should now be even more clear to Congress that the RFS simply does not work and they must take swift action to fix this failed mandate to protect the millions of consumers at risk.”
In November 2013, EPA first proposed to scale back the 2014 mandate to blend corn ethanol and more advanced biofuels in gasoline. However, EPA subsequently withdrew that 2014 proposal after being met with fierce opposition by the biofuels industry. EPA will now be re-proposing the 2014 mandate, and for the first time proposing the annual mandates for 2015 and 2016.