From: Jack Gerard, API
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: Fix the RFS
Date: Tue May 20 14:48:47 MDT 2014
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    May 20, 2014  

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Boat owners and manufacturers are among the many Americans negatively impacted by the RFS. Learn more about the effects of higher ethanol blends on boats.

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    Fix the RFS      

Dear Scott,

Although the deadline for this year’s biofuels mandate was November 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is still finalizing the 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requirements, which will determine how much ethanol the fuel industry will be required to blend into the nation’s fuel supply this year. True to form, regulators have proposed a mandate for 17 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel, despite the fact that less than 60,000 gallons have been produced to date this year.

Whether corn-based or cellulosic, the EPA must establish these mandates in a more timely fashion and align biofuel targets more closely with reality. It’s essential that EPA limit the ethanol mandate to no more than 9.7 percent of gasoline in the 2014 renewable fuel requirements to create a minimum buffer to protect consumers against consequences associated with exceeding the 10 percent “blend wall” – including:

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Engine damage: The overwhelming majority of vehicles on the road today are not manufacturer-approved to use fuel blends above 10 percent (E10), and extensive testing shows that EPA-approved E15 fuel can lead to engine damage.
Unavailability of E0: Owners of boats, vintage cars and small equipment like lawnmowers demand low- or zero-ethanol fuel, but the constantly increasing requirements of the RFS threaten to drive ethanol-free options off the market entirely.

Economic harm: According to a NERA Economic Consulting study, continuing to implement the RFS could lead to fuel rationing and supply shortages that could drive up gasoline costs by 30 percent and the cost of diesel by 300 percent by 2015 – decreasing worker income by $580 billion.

Food prices: Ethanol production has already diverted more than 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop from food to fuel, leading to a 25 percent increase in the consumer price index for food since 2005. Anti-hunger groups like Action Aid warn the corn ethanol mandate is “contributing to hunger” whileOxFam says it hurts “the world’s poor.”

broad coalition of consumer and business groups, as well as an extensive grassroots movement, is urging action to fix the RFS. The EPA must set reasonable targets to protect consumers from the damages of the blend wall.


Jack Gerard
President and CEO

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