Scaled-back renewable-fuels targets leaked from the Environmental Protection Agency are still excessive, the American Petroleum Institute said in a Thursday press call. EPA is “moving in the right direction” with the reductions, said Bob Greco, API’s director of downstream activities, but still “needs to go lower.”
API’s goals aren’t far from the new EPA standards, which remain preliminary and have not been verified. The group is calling for production mandates of 12.9 million gallons of corn ethanol; the EPA draft circulated earlier this month would set levels at 13 million gallons. “The concern is they’re trying to shave this so close,” Greco said. “We don’t think the EPA has gone far enough if the leaked proposal is accurate.”
The problem, according to API, is that biofuel mandates were set with assumptions that gasoline demand would continue to increase, which has not been the case. Greco cited a study that said too-high ethanol mandates would decrease U.S. GDP by $770 billion and take-home pay by $580 billion. Continued hikes in the production mandate, Greco said, would push the U.S. past the “blend wall”—the 10 percent of ethanol content currently the standard for most cars’ fuel. “Passing the blend wall would cause a … fuel-cost increase and fuel-supply disruptions,” he said. “We need the EPA to act immediately to provide relief to consumers.”
Even if the agency’s lowered proposals end up as the final targets, Greco said it will not affect API’s lawsuits challenging EPA’s mandates. He reiterated that the group is still prepared to file suit if the agency fails to meet a Nov. 30 deadline for next year’s mandates.
What We're Following See More »
"Senate Democrats on Thursday failed in their first attempt to save the state and local tax deduction, which helps many residents of California and other high-cost states reduce their federal income tax bills. The Republican-controlled Senate voted 52-47 to reject an amendment that would have prevented the Senate from considering any bill that repeals or limits the deduction as part of a planned tax overhaul."
"A shake-up is underway at the Democratic National Committee as several key longtime officials have lost their posts, exposing a still-raw rift in the party and igniting anger among those in its progressive wing who see retaliation for their opposition to DNC Chairman Tom Perez. The ousters come ahead of the DNC's first meeting, in Las Vegas, Nevada, since Perez took over as chairman with a pledge this year to unite a party that had become badly divided during the brutal Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton 2016 primary race."