On behalf of its members, the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) submitted a letter to President Obama today in regards to his recent signing of the Executive Order “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review.” This document instructs federal government agencies to develop plans to ensure that our regulatory systems protect the public’s health, welfare, safety, and environment while at the same time promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. The letter also applauds the president’s efforts to continue to create jobs while he encourages politicians to remove antiquated and overlapping rules that are stifling job growth.
The letter continues by asking the White House and the EPA to address three key regulatory issues related to biofuels and U.S. economic and environmental security. The letter first addresses two rules concerning ethanol under EPA jurisdiction that send mixed messages: RFS2 which requires 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel use by 2022 and the EPA only allowing all conventional vehicles to use E10. ACE notes that “clearly these regulations are incompatible.”
ACE also points out that EPA’s current action on E15 will not fulfill the RFS2 requirement. The letter states, “While EPA finally authorized some newer model-year cars to use E15, the agency has created unnecessary confusion by declaring, without scientific evidence, that older cars should not use E15. As a result, we expect very little E15 use until such time EPA authorizes a more complete approval.”
ACE is also urging the EPA to enforce a rule that appears to be unenforced, or at best partially-enforced, today. In 1990, Congress amended the Clean Air Act to require EPA to protect human health by significantly reducing the use of carcinogenic aromatics by refiners to increase octane in gasoline. Aromatics are produced during the refining of crude oil into gasoline and when these aromatics, such as benzene, toluene, and xylene, are combusted by motor vehicles, they result in a major source of toxic pollution in U.S. urban air sheds. ACE writes that to their knowledge, the agency has failed to curb the use of toluene and xylene aromatics by refiners.
The letter concludes, “Resolving these three regulatory matters will meet your objectives for rooting out conflicting regulations and balance the need to grow the economy and protect the environment. Moreover, taking these steps will enable the American ethanol industry to help save and create U.S. jobs and provide motorists with fuel choices that are more affordable and cleaner than fossil fuel.”