Feds Move to Reduce Ethanol Blended Gasoline

Feds Move to Reduce Ethanol Blended Gasoline

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to push for lowering ethanol use in gas.

The Obama administration has proposed a new renewable fuel standard that could drop the ethanol level used in gasoline by four-billion gallons this year alone.

In 2007, the renewable fuel laws worked to address global warming, mandating a steady increase in the amount of renewable fuels, such as ethanol, to be blended into gasoline. The new proposal by the EPA would also result in a three-billion gallon reduction of ethanol use in 2016, marking a significant change for renewable fuel companies.

As a result, the EPA is hoping that the new proposed laws will “provide a strong incentive for continued investment and growth in biofuels,” according to EPA’s Janet McCabe. The lower targets will also benefit the oil industry, which prefers the market determine how much ethanol is blended into their gas.

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The agency believes the standards set by the original law cannot be achieved, partly due to the limitations on the amount of nonethanol renewable fuels that can be produced. In addition, next-generation biofuels haven’t been as widespread as originally expected and less gasoline has been used than predicted.

Additionally, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that it will invest up to $100 million in Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership to support the infrastructure required to make renewable fuel options available to American consumers.

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“American-made, clean energy sources support the environment, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs and sustain the economy in rural communities across the country. We are fortunate that our farmers are producing record amounts of feedstock for these fuels,” Vilsack said. “However, a combination of factors, including lower commodity prices and reduced demand for feed as the poultry industry recovers from highly pathogenic avian influenza, are creating uncertainty for America’s corn and soybean producers. With this partnership, USDA is helping to ensure the infrastructure is in place for consumers to access more renewable fuels, expand marketing opportunities for farmers, and grow America’s rural economies.”

The decision by the EPA comes as many automakers are pushing for a reduction in ethanol use in gasoline. A recent study showed that ethanol use above 15 percent in could be damaging in older engines.

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  • smartacus

    i have to drive to the Marina to get real gasoline. But even then, it’s only 90 Octane.
    The Government claims cars made after 2008 are safe, but then again so is Ritalin

  • JohnOh

    Growing plants to make ethanol means reduced food and increased costs of food production.
    No problem in America? It will drive up food prices everywhere this is done in food producing countries, especially south Africa where its more profitable to grow fuel than food…

  • Jonny_Vancouver

    That’s what big oil wants you to think. Biofuel doesn’t even use the same source that we us for food and there have been several independent studies proving that there is way more than enough production capacity for both food and fuel.

    Fun fact: Did u know that you can make biofuel from just about anything including, but not limited to cactus, beets, cattails, even garbage… Big oil is just trying to control things so they can profit.

    If you look back as recent as 2008, food and commodities prices skyrocketed in direct relation to soaring gas prices. Why? Because when gas prices go up, it cost more to transport goods… The problem here is oil. Big oil. Check out a new documentary on the subject called Pump (2014) it will blow your mind.

  • Jean-Pierre Sarti

    Jonny_Vancouver: you make some valid points but you also need to stop with the anti-“Big Oil” vitriol or you just marginalize your arguments by stooping to the lowest common denominator of name calling. Think about this for example, would you not rather we use the limited fresh water growing food than ethanol or any of your stated alternatives?

    The EPA is a lot of things, mostly not good, but I have to admit this is a good move. I would rather us spend that research money on things that will in no way compete with food. I give you algae grown in brine water as an example of an alternative that should make both sides happy.

  • craigcole

    Less ethanol is great for owners of classic cars. Old vehicles don’t often fare will with alcohol fuel.