ACE Explains Mexico Ethanol Ruling

Cindy Zimmerman

Last week, the Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the regulation allowing for higher ethanol content in gasoline, but American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Senior Vice President and Market Development Director Ron Lamberty explains that the decision was based on the way in which the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) implemented the change in 2017, not on the fuel.

In July of that year, the CRE decided to increase the maximum content of ethanol in gasoline as an oxygenate to 10 percent, up from 5.8 percent, outside of the major metropolitan areas of Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey in the regulatory standard NOM-016-CRE-2016.

“The Mexico Supreme Court ruled against the process, not the product, and the oil/MTBE industry can’t really be happy the court said the CRE needs to weigh economic benefit (which clearly favors ethanol) against risks to the environment (which also favor ethanol). The ruling won’t go into effect for 180 days, and proving ethanol is cheaper and better than MTBE for the environment shouldn’t even take 180 minutes,” said Lamberty. “Oil and MTBE’s strategy translates in any language. They can’t win based on science, so they try to throw a stick in ethanol’s spokes by going to the courts and filing a multitude of lawsuits to prevent ethanol from competing in the marketplace. In the rare instance they win a case, Big Oil distorts the decision as some sort of scientific indictment of ethanol, but lawyers and judges aren’t scientists, and I doubt any of them even believe gas, oil or MTBE is better for the environment than ethanol.”

Lamberty has traveled to Mexico on behalf of the U.S. Grains Council multiple times over the past two years, participating in technical ethanol workshops to educate fuel retailers and equipment suppliers about offering E10.

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