This month's EPA decision to move forward with the Renewable Fuels Standard, despite concern from state governors and several livestock groups, prompted another call from American Petroleum Institute Downstream Director Robert Greco to repeal the RFS.
Greco said Tuesday that the federal Renewable Fuels Standard should be eliminated because it will force higher concentrations of ethanol in gasoline that could harm vehicles, and that ethanol production will continue without the help of the RFS.
"We believe the Renewable Fuels Standard is unworkable and should be repealed. Despite repeated and ongoing efforts to address the program's shortcomings – through regulatory petitions, legal actions and suggested solutions to implementation concerns – little has been done to make the program workable, and sometimes actions have been taken that make matters worse."
Greco said the program is "fundamentally flawed" and the only way to fix it is to repeal the law and start over. But, Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said the API conference was a "classic example of the fox guarding the chicken coop."
"Special interests will stop at nothing to discredit the success of renewable fuels created right here at home to ensure their lock on the fuels market goes unchecked," Buis said. "They continue to protect the status quo, ensuring our addiction to foreign oil and preventing consumers a choice at the pump."
However, Greco said in his comments that the petroleum industry has been more successful in reducing foreign energy dependence than the RFS, and domestic natural gas supplies have driven a decline in greenhouse gas emissions.
Greco said also he expected the blending of ethanol to continue without an RFS, and said the U.S. is producing enough ethanol to export it overseas.
"The notion that we need a Renewable Fuels Standard to promote energy independence and security, as the 2007 statute is named, has been turned on its head by the tremendous growth in domestic oil and natural gas," Greco concluded.