Urban Air Calls RFS Decision Disappointing, but Not Surprising

Colwich Kansas:  November 30,2015:     The Urban Air Initiative (UAI) called today’s decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit the amount of biofuels disappointing, but not surprising and it should be a wakeup call that ethanol needs to establish markets and value beyond government imposed limitations.

“EPA has made it clear it has no intention of opening the market for ethanol and other biofuels”, said UAI President Dave VanderGriend. “We have been challenging EPA for years to take actions that would protect public health, lessen our dependence on petroleum, and reduce CO2 and other harmful emissions. The EPA has rejected us at every turn.”

VanderGriend said the new volumes EPA has established under the RFS is not the defining value of ethanol. “This is simply one program. We can move well beyond that and we will not let EPA and its faulty, inaccurate models define our value and limit our growth. ”

Instead, VanderGriend said, EPAs action should be a message to the ethanol industry that it needs to secure its own future and recognize that ethanol’s highest value is as a clean fuel that can provide high octane to reduce the toxic compounds in gasoline while reducing a range of harmful emissions.

UAI has identified a number of steps to provide access to the market, all of which will improve fuel quality and protect public health.  Specifically, UAI has called for EPA to:

  • Lift the Vapor Pressure Restriction on Higher Blends since RVP actually goes down as ethanol volumes go up above E10;
  • Enforce Section 202 (l) of the Clean Air Act to limit aromatics and open the market for ethanol as a source of clean octane;
  • Reinstate fuel economy credits (CAFE) and prorate them for mid-level blends;
  • Make 87 AKI gasoline the minimum octane for all states;
  • Revise modeling for both the life cycle analysis of biofuels and the emissions profile, notably the MOVES Model.

“The RFS has done its job up to this point in building a bridge but from here on we need to seize our future and look forward, not backward,” said VanderGriend.