Economists propose RFS ethanol mandate be frozen at 2013 levels

By Susanne Retka Schill | April 10, 2013

Two University of Illinois economists are proposing to freeze renewable fuel standard (RFS) mandates in 2014 and 2015 at 2013 levels. In their ongoing analyses of the RFS and blending issues in FarmDocDaily, Scott Irwin and Darrel Good argue that freezing the mandate represents a pragmatic way forward, since it is uncertain whether the infrastructure needed for greater E15 or E85 adaption could be made in the next two years.

“However, the proposal does provides incentive for modest growth in E15 and/or E85 penetration by keeping the mandate for renewable fuels above the current E10 blend wall,” the two write in their April 10 FarmDocDaily post.  “Even with relatively slow growth in domestic ethanol production through 2015, the proposal would maintain a high rate of use of ethanol production capacity and would provide for modest growth in the large demand base for corn.”

To read the full analysis and a discussion of earlier posts analyzing ethanol blending issues, see “Freeze It – A Proposal for Implementing RFS2 through 2015.”