Ethanol producers sue EPA over waivers of mandate for their lousy product

Fuel Fix:
Midwestern ethanol producers filed a lawsuit Tuesday challenging waivers the Environmental Protection Agency issued to Texas refining companies, exempting them from the requirement they blend ethanol into the gasoline they sell.

Under the law EPA is allowed to grant waivers to refineries that produce less than 75,000 barrels a day but a coalition that includes the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association allege the agency granted waivers to three refineries that did not quality for the exemption. The refineries they are targeting are owned by Sugar Land-based CVR Energy and Dallas-based Hollyfrontier.

"EPA is acting in contravention of the statute and its own regulations, methodically destroying the demand for renewable fuels," said Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association.

RELATED STORY: With flood of EPA waivers, refineries find way around ethanol mandate

The EPA declined to comment on what it described as "pending litigation." But Hollyfrontier CEO George Damiris criticized the litigation, saying EPA had "correctly followed the law."

"Congress created the hardship waiver to protect these small refineries from the economic harm imposed by," the ethanol mandate, he said.
If ethanol was of any value it would not need a mandate.  Why force people to buy something they do not want or need. 

These mandates are forcing refineries to spend billions on a product that consumers don't need instead of using those billions to convert their refineries to processing the light crude being produced in the US from shale wells.  The ethanol mandate is actually causing more imported oil to be used because most of the refineries were designed for heavy crude when most oil was imported.  The major selling point for ethanol when the mandate was passed was to reduce imported oil and it is now having the opposite effect.

It is also costing consumers who have to spend money repairing small engines used for chainsaws and other yard work that get ruined by ethanol.

Congress should remove the ethanol mandate and let teh marketplace decide whether the added is worthwhile.  That the agribusiness rent seekers oppose removing the mandate tells you what you need to know about the value of their product.


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