The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment will be holding a hearing this morning on “High Octane Fuels and High Efficiency Vehicles: Challenges and Opportunities.” The hearing will take a look at the potential for high octane fuels and the vehicles designed for them to further the goals of the Renewable Fuel Standard and Corporate Average Fuel Economy/Greenhouse Gas programs. Members will also examine the impact a potential transition to high octane fuels and vehicles could have on refiners, biofuel producers, automakers, fuel retailers, and consumers.
“High octane fuels have the potential to allow for the greater use of ethanol and other octane enhancers in the gasoline supply while increasing the miles per gallon in new cars,” said Chairman John Shimkus of Illinois.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor will testify at the hearing today and will stress the benefits of higher octane, mid-level ethanol blends and the need for a stable RFS to maintain market access. “Biofuels must be part of any long-term plan for engine efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction. However, any discussion of our future fuel mix cannot turn back the clock on the RFS,” says Skor.
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) CEO Bob Dinneen submitted written comments yesterday to the subcommittee, noting that the oil industry supports moving to a higher-octane standard, but only to the degree the standard can be met with petroleum. “This stance taken by the oil industry underscores precisely why we need the RFS in the first place—left to their own devices, refiners would meet a new octane standard not by increasing the use of low-cost, low-carbon ethanol, but by cramming more dirty and costly aromatic hydrocarbons into our gasoline,” added Dinneen.
The hearing begins at 9:00 a.m. EST in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building and webcast live at energycommerce.house.gov.