Many industry organizations provided feedback yesterday to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment on the discussion draft “21st Century Transportation Fuels Act,” both in person and in writing. The legislation proposes an exchange of a national (95 RON) octane fuel requirement for repeal of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says the bill draws attention to why higher octane fuel is needed but fails to chart a sufficient course for how to get there. “Requiring automakers to warranty their vehicles to operate on a minimum 95 RON fuel (about the same as today’s premium) in exchange for effective repeal of the RFS will not improve fuel quality by increasing ethanol use, rather, it is a mechanism to undo the competition-forcing core of the RFS and limit ethanol use to current volumes.”
National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson submitted a statement to the committee.
“NFU agrees that fuel and vehicle regulation can and should work hand-in-hand to promote clean-burning, alternative renewable fuels,” said Johnson. “High octane fuels through higher blends of ethanol should be the fuel for today and the future.”
National Biodiesel Board Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik testified at the hearing on Tuesday saying that while the bill addresses the industry’s frustrations with the EPA setting biomass-based diesel volumes well below the ability to produce, “improvements to the discussion draft are needed to incentivize further investments and support predictable year-over-year growth.” Kovarik also notes that changes to the octane standard will have no impact on biodiesel.