API wants Congress to repeal, not reform, federal RFS

The American Petroleum Institute is bringing refining executives to Washington, DC, to convince Congress and the White House that the federal Renewable Fuels Standard should not simply be reformed, but fully repealed.

“Our sense is there’s no support in Congress for keeping the RFS as it is,” said Bob Greco, API downstream group director. “Some members want to repeal it; some want to reform it. We’re telling the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is looking at the problem, that repeal is the best solution. That’s why we’ve mobilized our grass roots network to contact members of Congress and the White House.”

Assumptions behind the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act’s expansion of the RFS, which the 2005 Energy Policy Act established, have not been borne out, creating a “reality gap,” he told reporters in a Sept. 17 teleconference.

“For starters, demand for gasoline is down,” Greco said. “The US Energy Information Administration now estimates we will use 424 million fewer barrels of gasoline this year than it projected, a trend that is expected to continue. The mandated ethanol volumes are completely out of touch with today’s fuel market reality.”

US crude oil production has grown and imports have decreased, with EIA projecting that the US will produce 64 million more and import 241 million fewer barrels than was projected back in 2007, he continued. “Our nation’s energy security outlook is much improved not through ethanol mandates but through increased domestic production, a primary goal of the RFS,” Greco said.

Consumers have largely rejected flex-fuel vehicles which can use higher ethanol blends because mileage drops as more ethanol is used, and advanced cellulosic biofuel levels Congress expected have fallen short year after year, he said.

‘Dangerous relic’

“While the RFS may have been well-intentioned 6 years ago, it is a dangerous relic of America’s era of fuel scarcity,” said Greco. “Today, the RFS is not just outdated; it is bad public policy that is poised to harm millions of consumers.”

Hours earlier, Fuels America, a coalition which includes Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, and other groups representing fuel ethanol producers, said a new survey shows consumers overwhelmingly support gasoline with a 15% ethanol blend, and retail outlets’ equipment can be retrofitted for higher ethanol levels easily and at a low cost.

Greco said fuel ethanol proponents are being dishonest when they say gasoline with higher ethanol concentrations costs less per gallon than regular gasoline. “When you adjust the cost of ethanol vs. gasoline on a BTU basis, gasoline has always been cheaper than a gallon of E85,” he explained. “The consumer benefits of buying an E10 blend make more sense.”

A growing number of people and groups are calling for the RFS’s repeal, “but we understand that will take time,” said Greco. “That’s why we’ve also petitioned EPA to provide a stop-gap measure and reduce the total renewable fuels volume requirement to a level below 10% of overall gasoline demand for 2014.”

EPA acknowledged there are problems with the RFS when it said it would study the blend wall issue in formulating its 2014 mandates as it issued its 2013 quotas, he said.

“So far, it’s doing a very poor job,” Greco said. “The 2013 mandates didn’t come out until this August. The 2014 mandate is supposed to be finalized by November, but it will take months for the agency to receive and consider comments first. We want EPA to do what it can in the short term but what it’s done is not sufficient.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

Related Articles

EPA won’t finalize RFS’s 2014 biofuel quotas before yearend

11/21/2014 The US Environmental Protection Agency announced it will not finalize 2014 biofuel quotas under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) before ye...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude up on recovering Chinese oil demand

11/21/2014

Oil prices bounced back up $1/bbl on the New York market Nov. 20 on indications that Chinese oil demand might be recovering.

Worker killed in platform explosion offshore Louisiana

11/21/2014 An explosion that occurred on Nov. 20 at the Fieldwood Energy LLC-operated West Delta 105 E offshore platform, also known as Echo, in the Gulf of M...

Total joins global climate initiatives

11/20/2014 Total SA, in what it describes as a consolidation of its efforts to address climate change, will support initiatives of the United Nations Global C...

IHS: ‘Tight-oil test’ under way in US amid lower oil prices

11/20/2014 The vast majority of potential US tight-oil production growth remains economical in the current crude oil price environment, according to a recent ...

Apache to sell Louisiana, Anadarko assets for $1.4 billion

11/20/2014 Houston independent Apache Corp. has agreed to sell noncore southern Louisiana and certain Anadarko basin assets in two separate deals for a combin...

AFPM: Oregon’s proposed low-carbon fuel standard unconstitutional

11/20/2014 Oregon’s proposed low-carbon fuel standards (LCFS) program is unconstitutional, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers said in comment...

MARKET WATCH: Crude oil futures prices rangebound

11/20/2014 US light, sweet crude oil prices remained below $75/bbl Nov. 19 on the New York market, while analysts and traders focused on the upcoming meeting ...

Bids spike in Northern Alaska lease sales

11/19/2014 Alaska’s Division of Oil & Gas received 356 bids on 298 tracts in its 2014 Northern Alaska area-wide lease sales, trumping the 92 bids received...

White Papers

How to Keep Your Mud System Vibrator Hose from Getting Hammered to Death

To prevent the vibrating hoses on your oilfield mud circulation systems from failing, you must examine...
Sponsored by

Duty of Care

Good corporate social responsibility means implementing effective workplace health and safety measures...
Sponsored by

Increase Equipment Uptime Through Robust Enterprise Asset Management

Whether you operate in the Upstream Drilling and Exploration sector, the Midstream distribution sector...
Sponsored by

Continuous Improvement for Maintenance with Robust Reporting and Analytics

You should have real-time, anywhere access to more relevant and comprehensive data to help manage and ...
Sponsored by

Enterprise Asset Management Solution for Movable Assets in the Oil & Gas Industry

Drilling and exploration companies face several challenges in effectively managing assets both offshor...
Sponsored by

Supporting HSE Needs for Oil & Gas Through Effective Asset Management Practices

The Oil & Gas industry is constantly being challenged to find, extract and deliver cheaper an...
Sponsored by

Sesam for subsea design analysis

With the exponential growth in the subsea sector, a new set of challenges now face the industry. Mostl...
Sponsored by

Is the gas delivery system you’re looking at able to meet your power generation needs: a hydraulic engineer’s perspective

The hydraulic characteristics, and system response to demands and supplies, of natural gas pipelines a...
Sponsored by

Available Webcasts



Optimizing your asset management practices to mitigate the effects of a down market

When Thu, Dec 11, 2014

The oil and gas market is in constant flux, and as the price of BOE (Barrel of Oil Equivalent) goes down it is increasingly important to optimize your asset management strategy to stay afloat.  Attend this webinar to learn how developing a solid asset management plan can help your company mitigate costs in any market.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Parylene Conformal Coatings for the Oil & Gas Industry

Thu, Nov 20, 2014

In this concise 30-minute webinar, participants have an opportunity to learn more about how Parylene coatings are applied, their features, and the value they add to devices and components.

register:WEBCAST


Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Optimize Productivity in Oil & Gas Operations

Tue, Nov 18, 2014

Join IBM on Tuesday, November 18 @ 1pm CST to explore how Predictive Analytics can help your organization maximize productivity, operational performance & associated processes to drive enterprise wide productivity and profitability.

register:WEBCAST


US HYDROCARBON EXPORTS Part 3 — LNG

Fri, Nov 14, 2014

US LNG Exports, the third in a trilogy of webcasts focusing on the broad topic of US Hydrocarbon Exports.

A discussion of the problems and potential for the export of US-produced liquefied natural gas.

These and other topics will be discussed, with the latest thoughts on U.S. LNG export policy.

register:WEBCAST


Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected