Farmers want people to be forced to buy ethanol whether they need it or not

AP/Fuel Fix:
A federal proposal to reduce the amount of renewable fuels required in gasoline would have a stifling impact on the ethanol industry and goes against the intentions of Congress when it set the standards eight years ago, opponents of the suggested changes said.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced plans last month to reduce renewable fuels requirements by 4 billion gallons in 2015 and more than 3 billion in 2016. It is conducting a public hearing on Thursday in Kansas City, Kansas, before making a final determination on the standards in November.

Chris Grundler, director of the EPA’s office of transportation and air quality, said 250 people have signed up to testify at the Jack Reardon Center. Because of the number of those wanting to speak, the EPA is bringing in a second panel so the hearings can be conducted in two separate groups. They are the only public hearings planned on the issue before the EPA announces its decision.

Unless the requirements are reduced, Grundler said, there’s no way the standards can be met in the next few years.

“There would be widespread noncompliance, and the EPA is not in the habit of putting out standards we don’t think are achievable,” he said.

The 2007 renewable fuels law was intended to address global warming, reduce dependence on foreign oil and bolster the rural economy by requiring a steady increase in the overall amount of renewable fuels such as ethanol blended into gasoline over time.
The original law was the product of a perceived scarcity of domestic oil.   The shale revolution has changed that calculation since the amount of foreign oil used has dropped dramatically.  The standards also set unrealistic goals that would require engine destroying blends.  I think there should be no government mandated requirement for the use of ethanol  If the product id needed it should compete in the marketplace.  If there is a need for it, the market can set requirement.


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