EPA Treads into Complicated Turf in Kansas RFS Hearing: Our Coalition Partners Respond

Today, the EPA heads to Kansas to hold its only public hearing surrounding the agency’s proposed new rules regarding the widely controversial ethanol mandate, part of a federal law known as the Renewable Fuel Standard. Those opposing the ethanol mandate are many and diverse, ranging from environmental activists and restaurant associations to consumer champions, motorcycle enthusiasts and boaters. And they’re speaking the truth: The RFS is a broken and disastrous law that must be reformed or repealed. Take a look at what they’re saying today...

“NMMA opposes the EPA’s proposal to increase the supply of ethanol at the expense of proven, safe and reliable fuels for marine engines. The EPA is denying millions Americans choice at the pump and is failing to adequately protect consumers against the dangers of higher ethanol blends.”

“The EPA has not met its statutory deadlines to establish the volume mandates for biofuels since 2009. The 2014 volumes won’t be finalized until November, 11 months after the 2014 marketing year is completed, and 24 months after the statutory deadline passed. ‘This see-saw process by which EPA proposes an up-and-down, now-and-later moving target as the compliance year goes along is highly damaging to poultry and livestock producers,’ said Mike Brown, President of the NCC. NCC supports further reductions in the target levels for 2015 and 2016 to account for the distorting effects the RFS has on the market for corn, substitute feed products, chicken prices, and food prices in general.”

“The EPA is pushing higher ethanol limits despite its own acknowledgment that the market cannot consume these higher amounts due to ‘infrastructure and market-related factors.’ The EPA calls for higher ethanol blended fuels and the USDA spends taxpayer dollars to make it happen, despite knowing that none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in the United States is approved to use E15 or higher ethanol blends. Using those fuels in motorcycles and ATVs is illegal and may cause engine and fuel system damage or failure and void the manufacturer's warranty.”

“The Renewable Fuel Standard has failed to deliver the growth in clean, green energy that was promised and must be reformed. Next generation biofuels were supposed to meet the bulk of these targets, but instead the EPA is using biofuels made from food crops, ignoring the impacts on food prices and the land rights of communities around the world. The EPA must stop prioritizing fuel for our cars over food for people, and end these increases in food-based biofuels.”

“It seems the EPA’s proposed rule does not consider the concerns of motorcyclists and ATV owners, despite knowing that none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs in use in the United States is approved to use E15 or higher ethanol blends.”

“The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) recent RVO proposal provides taxpayers little relief from the increasingly problematic effects of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Taxpayers continue to pay every day for the misguided RFS policy when forced to fill up their cars more often due to the lower mileage, or to pay higher food costs, as well as deal with the havoc corn ethanol wreaks on small engines. The EPA should take steps to lower RVO mandates, bringing them in line with consumer demand; while avoiding measures that could increase ethanol content in the gasoline supply. After years of RVO uncertainty and in light of the unworkable state of the RFS, the EPA should urge Congress to take action and fix this broken policy. Despite a few modest steps to back away from disaster, America's fuel supply could still hit the blend wall crisis as early as next year. Waiting is not an option.”