The big news from late this week is that the Environmental Protection Agency, now almost 9 months late on delivering the 2014 ethanol mandate, has finally passed the proposal along to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. In 90 days or less, we should have a rule.
Learn more from this week:
OPIS, EPA Spokeswoman: Final 2014 RFS Sent to OMB for Review: The EPA's proposed 2014 RFS, which was issued in November 2013, called for cuts to the ethanol mandate in an acknowledgment of the blend wall. We’ll see just how their proposal has changed in the last 10 months.
In Short: “’After an extensive public outreach process, we've received 340,000 comments that will help inform our final determinations. EPA will issue a final rulemaking after the interagency review process has been completed.... The agency's overarching goal is to put the RFS program on a path that supports continued growth in renewable fuels over time,’ the spokeswoman added.”
“Kevin Book, managing director of Clearview Energy Partners, explained, ‘[our] base case projects that EPA could set the total ethanol requirement to less than 13.6 billion gal [less than the 14.4 billion gal as originally prescribed] and maintain the biomass-based diesel requirement at 1.28 billion gal.’”
GlobalWarming.org, KiOR News Underscores Problems With Renewable Energy Industrial Policy: A guest post from Dave Juday, commodity market analyst and principal of The Juday Group, takes a look at the failing history of KiOR, once touted as the most successful U.S. biofuels producer.
In Short: “Government mandates like RFS, subsidies, loan guarantees, and investments have not proven any better than the market for developing new energy resources – just much more costly.”
Midwest Energy News, Boating industry not backing down in Chicago E15 fight: The city of Chicago and the 13,000 or so boats that call it home, are in the midst of an ethanol debate. On July 28, after a five-hour committee hearing, the Chicago City Council decided not to advance the E15 ordinance, which would require all gas stations in the city to sell the ethanol blend. The region’s boating industry is sticking to its guns and pushing back on the ordinance which will likely come up again at hearing in the coming months.
In Short: “Ethanol can be more corrosive and burns hotter than gasoline, so the higher ethanol blend can damage gaskets, valves and seals in engines not built to handle it. Warranties for boat engines typically are invalidated if E15 gas is used, according to David Dickerson, director of state government relations for the National Marine Manufacturers Association.”
“If you fill up with E15 your boat engine will run rough, it’s going to be hard to start, and to restart, if you are out on the water and kill the engine,” Dickerson said. “Those are significant when you’re boating rather than driving. Being caught out on the water with no engine can be very dangerous, not just annoying.”