Ethanol Groups Push EPA on Low Carbon High Octane

Cindy Zimmerman

Ethanol groups offered testimony to the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday during a virtual hearing on proposed greenhouse gas emissions standards for 2023-2026 light-duty vehicles, urging the agency to focus on low carbon, high octane ethanol.

“If our nation is to reach its goal of net-zero GHG emissions by mid-century, we’ll need both cleaner, more efficient cars and cleaner, more efficient fuels,” Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said in prepared remarks. “That’s why RFA’s member companies recently committed to achieving a net-zero carbon footprint by 2050 or sooner.”

RFA expressed its disappointment that EPA’s proposed GHG standards continue to focus solely on engines and vehicles, while ignoring the important influence of fuels on emissions and mileage. “Unfortunately, EPA’s proposal fails to recognize that the fuels we put into our engines can have as much—or more—impact on fuel economy and GHG emissions as the engine technologies themselves,” Cooper said, noting that the proposal assumes automakers will increase production of certain engine technologies that rely on higher-octane fuels. “The proposed rule counts on broad deployment of high-compression ratio engines that will require high-octane fuel but does nothing to ensure those high-octane fuels will actually be produced and available in the marketplace.”

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings highlighted three specific recommendations for EPA’s consideration in the final rule

Establish a minimum Research Octane Number (RON) rating for fuel in the range of 98 to 100 RON with 25 to 30 percent ethanol and provide automakers with a corresponding cert fuel for engine testing purposes.
Adopt the latest Department of Energy GREET model with respect to the lifecycle GHG emissions of ethanol and other transportation fuels.
Instead of putting EPA’s thumb on the scale to favor electric vehicles through multipliers and compliance credits, establish a technology-neutral approach that also provides automakers with incentives to produce flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) and vehicles designed to achieve optimal efficiency and reduced emissions on high octane ethanol blends.

ACE, EPA, Ethanol, Ethanol News, Renewable Fuels Association, RFA