RFA issues letter to House committee on overcoming the blend wall

By Renewable Fuels Association | April 05, 2013

The Renewable Fuels Association has responded to the questions posed by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Energy and Commerce in a white paper entitled, “Examining ‘Blend Wall’ Challenges." The Committee is preparing to review the renewable fuel standard (RFS).

In 10 pages of comments submitted to Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Ranking Member Henry Waxman D-Calif., RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen, responded to 11 questions put forth in the white paper, which spanned topics such as the blend wall, expanding use of E15 and E85, gasoline prices, CAFE standards, RINs, and possible impacts on the renewable fuel industry should the RFS be revised.

In opening, Dinneen wrote, “In short, the RFA believes the ‘blend wall’ is a creation of the oil companies’ failure to respond appropriately to the very clear market signal given upon passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), a bill they vehemently opposed and are seeking to re-litigate today. By refusing to make (or allow their franchisees to make) the investments necessary to provide market access to increasing volumes of renewable fuels, they hope to create a self-fulfilling prophecy that the RFS targets cannot be met. One, Congress should not reward such blatant disregard for the law. Two, there is nothing wrong with the RFS that cannot be fixed with what is right with the RFS, and that includes the blend wall.”

He continued, “It is important to note at the outset that overcoming the ‘blend wall’ issue is most critical to the success of cellulosic and advanced biofuels just now beginning their journey toward commercialization. Those next generation fuels need the assurance of market demand beyond the E10 blend market to attract investors. Leaving the market artificially constrained further limits market opportunities for next generation biofuels, missing an opportunity to meaningfully increase America’s use of renewable fuels and reduce our dependence on imported oil.”

Throughout the comments Dinneen explains ethanol’s ability to improve car performance and lower gas prices, E15’s thorough and successful testing by both the U.S. government and globally respected automotive engineering experts at Ricardo Inc., in addition to repeatedly demonstrating the oil industry’s intentional refusal to invest in the infrastructure required to fulfill the intention of the RFS to increase energy independence and environmental quality.

Read the RFA comments in full here. http://ethanolrfa.3cdn.net/a40c4edcf248386781_1ym6iijg2.pdf