We are now almost halfway through 2014 and the EPA has still not made a determination on Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) ethanol requirements for the year.
This negatively impacts both consumers and refiners. As API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco told EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a June 18 letter, “The continuing delays are unacceptable, fundamentally unfair, and show a continued disregard for congressionally mandated deadlines.”
Many people are calling on the EPA to rethink RFS ethanol and biofuel requirements. In a Palm Beach Post editorial, Nicolas Gutierrez of the Florida Energy Forum writes:
In 2007, when the standard was adopted, biofuels were supposed to lower greenhouse gases and become a major win for the environment. Instead, as an Associated Press investigation found last year, they have resulted in the loss of millions of acres of conservation land, destroyed habitat and polluted waterways from the boon of corn production.
There has also been an economic impact. While the corn industry has benefited extensively from this mandate, the heightened pressure on production to produce fuel has increased the cost of most everything else we rely upon.
Too much ethanol and other biofuels in our fuel supply can harm engines, reduce fuel efficiency, and raise the cost of transporting consumer goods. We hope the EPA seriously considers those outcomes before they finally do make a decision on the RFS.