Feds Move to Reduce Ethanol Blended Gasoline

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu
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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.

Discuss this story at our alternative fuel forum

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at AutoGuide.com saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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4 of 5 comments
  • JohnOh JohnOh on May 30, 2015

    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...

    • See 1 previous
    • Jean-Pierre Sarti Jean-Pierre Sarti on Jun 01, 2015

      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.

  • Craig Cole Craig Cole on Jun 01, 2015

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