An EPRINC report released on Sep. 14 entitled “Ethanol’s Lost Promise” advocates repealing the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The paper suggests removing the RFS could reduce the oil refining sector’s ethanol consumption down to 6.1 billion gallons annually (compared to 12.5 billion gallons in 2011). EPRINC suggests the void left by smaller ethanol supplies could be filled with imported gasoline, increased gasoline yields at the expense of diesel/distillate production, expanding U.S. refining capacity, and other infeasible options. In response to RFA’s reaction to its study, EPRINC tried to defend it with yet more conflicting and misleading statements. Once again, RFA is stepping forward to refute fiction with fact.
A report released this week by EPRINC, an oil industry-funded research group, suggests a multi-year suspension of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) could reduce U.S. ethanol use by more than half. In this analysis, the RFA points out that in attempting to tear down the RFS, the EPRINC report actually underscores the importance of the program and highlights the lack of sensible or economic options available to refiners if ethanol use is severely curtailed.
A report released today by Battelle, sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute (API), claims a recent rash of corrosion incidents in storage and handling equipment for Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) use stems from ethanol contamination. Under normal, everyday storage and handling conditions, ethanol should never come into contact with diesel fuel; ethanol is a gasoline additive.
Less than a month ago, the famously anti-ethanol editorial writers at the Wall Street Journal howled that the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was exacerbating drought-related "corn shortages" and "driv[ing] food prices up in a way that punishes consumers around the world…" And reaching deep into their dead-and-buried-biofuel-myth grab bag, they pulled out this emotional beauty: "…biofuel mandates increase hunger and hunger-related diseases at home and abroad…" Yet, yesterday, inconspicuously stashed on the WSJ "Real Time Economics" blog, is a short post by Neil Shah entitled "Hard to Pass Food-Price Spikes on to Consumers." In it, Mr. Shah breaks down data from the U.S. Departments of Labor and Agriculture and concludes the impact of the drought on food prices will be "manageable" and "far from crippling for the average consumer."