Stop the Distractions – Fix the RFS

October 7, 2018

Consumer groups, environmentalists, food producers and refiners have joined a bipartisan group of 20 Senators in voicing their opposition to an Environmental Protection Agency plan that will significantly change Clean Air Act rules and pump more ethanol into the fuel supply. Expanding the sale of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol (E15) year-round, is misguided, one-sided and a completely inadequate “fix” to the serious, recurring problems plaguing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

Last summer, a bill to change Clean Air Act rules for E15 couldn’t get out of the Senate. There wasn’t enough support. For EPA to try and do this exact same thing on their own is an overstep and complete contradiction of how they’ve interpreted the law in the past.

See for yourself what these groups are saying and consider that many serious issues that need to be addressed about increasing the presence of E15 in the fuel supply:

Nearly 3 out of 4 cars aren’t designed for E15

No cars made before model year 2012 are warrantied to use E15. Today, many manufacturer warranties still don’t approve of E15 in vehicles.

E15 isn’t “one-size-fits-all”

Absolutely no boats, outdoor power equipment, motorcycles, snow machines, ATVs or other small engines can use E15 fuel.

What about consumers?

EPA hasn’t sufficiently addressed the very real concerns about consumer misfueling, pump labeling inconsistencies and engine damage threats related to the expanded availability of E15 and blender pumps. EPA’s model plan for misfueling mitigation is dated 2012! This matters to millions of consumers.

You get stuck with the bill

As E15 expands, taxpayers will continue footing much of the bill for the infrastructure upgrades needed to sell the fuel at gas stations. State and federal taxpayer-funded grants famously bankroll many of these projects.

Free markets and mandates don’t mix

An E15 waiver has nothing to do with market demand or consumer choice (even in Iowa, E15 sales lag behind ethanol-free sales by about 4:1). It’s brazen to talk about things like “free markets” and “consumer choice” within the context of a government fuel mandate (RFS).

Unilaterally changing the rules for E15 fuel is a distraction from the serious work of RFS reform. No one wants a bigger mandate. No one wants band-aids on a broken policy. Stop the distractions. Fix the RFS.