Skip to comments.Analysis: Lawsuits likely as EPA declares US ethanol blend wall a 'reality'
Posted on 10/11/2013 5:47:50 AM PDT by thackney
With two words, the U.S. environment regulator may be handing oil refiners the biggest win of a long battle to beat back the seemingly inexorable rise of ethanol fuel.
In a leaked proposal that would significantly scale back biofuel blending requirements next year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the blend wall - the 10 percent threshold of ethanol-mixed gasoline that is at the crux of the lobbying war - is an "important reality".
The agency's rationale for a cut in the volume of ethanol that must be blended echoes an argument the oil industry has been making for months: the U.S. fuel chain cannot absorb more ethanol.
Few retailers are able to sell ethanol blends beyond the 10 percent maximum, or willing to take the legal risk that comes with it, they argue.
The words will cut deep for proponents of biofuels. They have argued for years that the blend wall is largely a fiction constructed by an oil industry that doesn't want to cede any more share of a shrinking U.S. gasoline market.
If approved, the proposed cut in the biofuel mandate in 2014 to 15.21 billion gallons from 18.15 billion would mark an historic retreat from the ambitious 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) law that charted a path toward ever-greater use of clean, home-grown fuel, which the biofuel industry counts on to underpin bank loans and new factories.
Even though the EPA proposal has not been publicly released or approved by the White House, both sides are gearing up to shift the fight over the future of the country's fuel supply to a new venue: the courts.
This week two U.S. oil industry groups sued the EPA over its 2013 biofuel targets. On Thursday, their opponents...
The EPA's proposal puts ethanol proponents in a tough spot.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
EPA considers U.S. ethanol mandate cut amid complaints
Bloomberg content on this second story so link only for it.
The EPA is also considering dropping the requirement for cellulosic fuels to just 23 million gallons from 1.75 billion gallons as required in the law, as production of fuels made from scrap wood or corn husks has failed to grow as expected, according to the proposal. (from the report cited in post #1)
And to be even more specific, gasoline consumption has dropped because the price has about doubled since 2007, from around $2.00 per gallon to almost $4.00. Probably has a lot more to do with decreased consumption than increased fuel efficiency.
Ethanol has a place. The digested grains make excellent cattle feed. That is what the market needs to be (and honestly is) tied to.
You ferment enough to supply the demand for DDG. Maybe a little extra for CO2 and other side products. But right now, the supply of feed is such that it is out racing the demand. If the EPA and tax breaks went away the industry would fall to the level that is needed to support the dairy and beef suppliers, with a little extra for drinkable sales.
Sucks is right! Cost me lots of dough and time every year replacing gaskets, hoses,Plastic parts on my equipment that the Ethanol rots away.
Ethanol pretty much destroyed the motor of my Classic car this spring. I finally had enough of constantly checking and repairing the fuel system, and the corroded pistons were the last straw.
Don’t know a whole lot about it except my chicken feed has steadily increased in the last two years.
eat corn. drink corn.
dont burn it.
Some innovative companies have developed enzymes to help digest DDGs, but there is definitely a limit on the amount of DDGs in the animal diet. Another problem is DDG quality- some of the stuff would make you puke at the sight of it. Finally there are issues with preservation/degradation during storage and transportation.
You may ask, well then were do all these DDG go to, someone must buy them... the answer is the Chinese buy them up in huge quantities.
Convergence is not causality but the price of both beef and gasoline has headed straight north since the ethanol mandate. I bought stew beef yesterday at the bargain price of $4.49/ lb. and gasoline at $3.55/ga.
Ethanol mandates have the economic effect of tying the price of food crops to the world price of energy. But this shows how foolish and rabid biofuel advocates are. A few decades ago, similar eco-fools were scolding us about erosion of farmland. Now, like advocates of wind power who downplay the raptor an song bird death toll, they are so fixated on a particular utopian issue they are willfully ignorant of the collateral damage to the eco system they are causing.
Why should any rational person advocate burning food as a fuel when we can burn something that cannot be used as food?
Just a small correction.
DDG’s do not “wreak havoc” on animals. DDG’s are a valuable high protein ingredient in animal feed. Like all other feed ingredients, they have to be used in the proper proportion in a balanced ration. Feeders are looking for the lowest cost ingredients that give them optimal results. The mix can vary depending on what is available at what price. There is often a lot of substitution over the course of a year as relative prices change.
In a short glass with ice and diet pepsi.
Still seeing a few stations advertising ethanol-free gas. Most of them are Conoco brand. I wish they were a little closer, it would be all I would buy.
You are correct. It can be part of the ration, but not the whole thing.
One thing I find... interesting, is that there are stories of DDG going into human consupmtion in China. We can’t digest it, so it must be going for filler.
Meanwhile Chuck Grassley joined Amy Klobuchar to sue ‘big oil’ to have the FTC MAKE gas stations sell productions other than their own (forced ethanol)
how’s that for ‘rock solid’ conservative values?