In response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposed rule to amend certain existing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions standards, Renewable Fuels Nebraska, the trade association for Nebraska’s ethanol producers and industry, provided comments urging the EPA to approve the use of higher octane, ethanol based fuels in the future. Specifically, RFN is asking for the EPA to allow for high octane fuels that would utilize 25 to 30 percent ethanol in the blend. RFN also is urging EPA to level the playing field when it comes to incentives for alternative fuels and specifically, the current incentives that are skewed toward electric vehicles and away from other fuels.
“Our comments to the EPA pointed out that Nebraska’s ethanol industry would strongly support the EPA if they were to establish minimum octane standards for future fuels that would utilize 25 to 30 percent ethanol blends, and approve a corresponding alternative certification fuel so automakers can begin testing future engines on a high-octane blend” said Troy Bredenkamp, RFN Executive Director.
“it is our belief that high octane E25-30 blends would help bring down the cost for consumers compared to the premium-priced octane level manufactured and advocated by oil refiners, while being significantly better for the environment” said Bredenkamp.
RFN’s comments also focused on what they perceive as an unfair playing field that appears to be skewed to benefit the electric vehicle industry over other advanced fuels such as high octane, ethanol blended fuels. “It seems that when it comes to EPA’s current regulatory philosophy, the scales are being purposely tilted in a way to incent the future development and use of electric vehicles, rather than alternative fuels that would incorporate blends of cleaner burning, cost effective, American-made ethanol at much higher levels” said Bredenkamp. “We would hope that the EPA would consider our comments and not pre-determine winners and loser when it comes to future fuels and consumer choice.”