Although AFPM President Chet Thompson’s Congressional testimony on the flawed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) runs to 24 pages, the message contained within is very simple: the proposed 2017 RFS rule exemplifies everything that’s wrong with the program, and it needs to be ended before 2022.
In coming up with the 2017 rule, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has, yet again, got its sums wrong. Demand for ethanol-free gasoline (E0) is drastically underestimated, while demand for higher-ethanol blends (notably E15 and E85) are wildly overestimated.
The effects of this create serious consumer and compliance challenges. Scaling back the amount of E0 in the market, for example, will affect boaters and users of equipment with small engines, who have been vocal about their preference of E0 and negative experiences of gasoline containing ethanol.
AFPM is not anti-biofuel. In fact, some of our members are among the largest producers of biofuel in the country. What AFPM opposes is the use of mandates to limit consumer choice and prop up some interests at the expense of others. Consumers and the free market should decide which fuels are used in the marketplace – not the federal government.
That is why AFPM’s solution is a simple and effective way to restore sanity to the fuels marketplace: end the RFS before 2022.
Why 2022? The statute does not specify volumes after that year, but the mandate exists in perpetuity – meaning that ultimate control of the RFS would pass from Congress to unelected bureaucrats, with wide discretion to determine what the renewable fuel volumes should be.
Congress needs to reclaim its authority and act now to ensure a bad policy is not left to create a worse problem for consumers in the years to come.