One of the favorite sayings of ethanol supporters is “there is nothing wrong with the RFS that can’t be fixed with what’s right with the RFS. The RFS has a built in flexibility that allows the EPA to adjust targets yearly.”
Further, the Renewable Fuels Association has said “It is important to note that Congress did an excellent job of crafting the RFS, building in a great deal of administrative and market flexibility to deal with issues as they arise.”
Unfortunately, the Renewable Fuel Standard has become an impossible-to-meet mandate, completely disconnected from market demand. The issues are countless – the looming blend wall, engine damage, increasing food prices, compliance fraud and increased GHG emissions.
Finally, EPA is beginning to acknowledge how unworkable the mandate truly is.
On October 11, rumors began circulating that the EPA was considering lowering 2014 volumetric numbers, as is their right according to RFA’s prior statements.
Almost immediately, however, the ethanol lobby announced that “any plan to roll back the targets... under the guise of addressing the blend wall would be patently unlawful.”
Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, also swiftly called for investigations by the Justice Department and the CFTC.
So which is it? Either EPA has the power to amend the mandate as necessary or it doesn’t. Either way, the policy is clearly flawed and the only people who refuse to acknowledge that are Big Ethanol.