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Obama Lowers Ethanol Blending Levels

May 29, 2015

Photo via Wikipedia.
Photo via Wikipedia.

President Obama's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reduced the federal required levels of ethanol that must be blended with gasoline, which dealt a blow to a biofuel that's falling out of favor in an era of cheap gasoline.

The announcement is the first look at Obama's proposed volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for 2015 and 2016, as well as biomass-based diesel for 2017.

While the Obama administration reduced ethanol requirements in the proposal, the EPA raised future biofuel totals.

In a related announcement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on May 29 that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing up to $100 million in a Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership to "support the infrastructure needed to make more renewable fuel options available to American consumers," according to a release.

The partnership will offer grants to match state-led funding efforts to test and evaluate ways to market higher blends of renewable fuel, such as E-15 and E-85.

Members of the U.S. Senate and House have introduced separate bills seeking to end the federal ethanol blending mandate, and two states (Florida and Hawaii) no longer require ethanol blending in fuel sold in those states.

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  1. 1. Charlie Peters [ May 31, 2015 @ 02:44PM ]

    * Do you want $2 Gasoline at the pump?

    * Do you want clean air and water?

    Ethanol waiver and elimination of E-85 flex fuel credit can cut our ozone & CO2 transportation pollution over 50%

    Let’s improve performance of CA Climate change law AB 32 (Pavley) in 2015 for future generations

    Is it time for an Attorney General, EPA conversation?

  2. 2. Cliff Downing [ June 01, 2015 @ 05:52AM ]

    While I am against any mandates at the pump, Charlie's contention that gasoline would be $2 if credits were eliminated is fallacious. Gasoline closed on the commodities market Friday above $2, and once all fuel taxes are placed on the fuel at the pump, ethanol free gas is still in the $2.50 or higher range. Anywhere around me, ethanol free gas is 10-20 cents higher than equivalent E10 fuel. In Charlie's attempts to disparage ethanol, he failed to mention that petroleum benefits from subsidies of up to $50 billion annually. While ethanol subsidies were eliminated in 2011, and the only subsidies for it now are at the retail pump level for infrastructure credits. And that sum is roughly $2 billion, a mere fraction of petroleum subsidies. Me thinks Charlies doest protest too much and with bias.

  3. 3. Mr Wrench [ June 01, 2015 @ 09:21PM ]

    Alcohol fueled blends have destroyed more fuel systems than they have saved anything in fuel cost.

  4. 4. Fleet Manager [ June 04, 2015 @ 09:23AM ]

    To respond to the Mr wrench comment that Alcohol based blends destroy fuel systems, our county based fleet has used E-10 and E85 for over 13 years with no ill effect on vehicles designed for the purpose. There would certainly be a problem running E-85 in a non-flex fuel engine.
    E-10 has been the standard blend for many years in Illinois with no problems.
    With the cost of regular gasoline falling it is hard to justify buying E85 when you factor in the loss of MPG. The consumer will decide if ethanol lives or dies.

 

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