Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt appeared before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee last week for an oversight hearing that touched on a variety of issues, including ethanol.
Pruitt was questioned by Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS) about the advanced biofuel pathway for distillers sorghum oil and the comment period that just closed on that January 26, and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) asked about a nationwide RVP waiver for 15% ethanol. “As you know, (the RVP waiver) is not really a policy issue, it truly is a determination about the legal authority on whether it can be granted nationally,” said Pruitt.
Audio file: Sen. Ernst and EPA Admin. Pruitt
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) asked about the use of corn ethanol as an octane enhancer. “I think the agency has long has not considered the fuel side of the ledger to achieve better outcomes…as we go through the CAFE process we are looking at those kinds of issues,” said Pruitt. “We’re agnostic about the source, it’s just a high octane approach generally.”
Audio file: Sen. Rounds and EPA Admin. Pruitt
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says they were encouraged by Pruitt’s comments. “Administrator Pruitt is to be commended for inviting comment on the role high-octane fuels can play in helping meet future vehicle fuel economy and emission standards,” said Jennings. “It is well-documented that blends in the range of E25-40 deliver meaningful efficiency and emission benefits at a low pump price. We continue to work with other stakeholders to make sure high-octane fuel containing ethanol becomes a reality.”