CFDC: SAFE Rule Beyond Just a Missed Opportunity

Source: By Clean Fuels Development Coalition • Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2021

August 9, 2021:  Calling the release of the proposed fuel economy rule shortsighted and borderline negligent, the Clean Fuels Development Coalition (CFDC) today said it intends to pursue further regulatory and legal action to force EPA to “get real” in terms of reducing pollution and protecting public health.

“O.K. we get it. The administration wants to electrify everything.  Until that happens—if it happens—we will have hundreds of billions of gallons of gasoline continuing to be used. EPA had an opportunity to decarbonize that gasoline and reduce the harmful emissions it produces, but they did nothing”, said CFDC Executive Director Doug Durante.

In a call with reporters today Durante said this was despite the fact that CFDC and others have been meeting with Administration officials for the past 7 months providing current, credible information as to how both emission and efficiency goals can be met by increasing the minimum octane standard in U.S. gasoline if they enforce existing toxic controls.

Durante said the source of octane today is primarily toxic, benzene-based compounds that are the highest carbon component in gasoline.  High octane ethanol is already displacing nearly 10 billion gallons of these aromatics and this rule could have increased the minimum octane level, opening a pathway for higher ethanol blends.

“Executive orders establishing goals make for great press conferences but ignores reality. In the decades it will take to realize a meaningful transition to EVs we will have millions of new, gasoline powered vehicles sold every year that will have a life of 12 years or more.  Here we have a product that will reduce emissions and increase mileage, but EPA ignores it in a rule whose objective is to reduce emissions and increase mileage.”

Higher octane allows automakers to increase compression and significantly increase mileage. The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, the trade association whose members produce 98% of the cars sold in America today, had clearly stated that they need high octane low carbon liquid fuels for both new and existing vehicles to help them meet ever increasing requirements.

And, Durante said, Governors, ethanol and ag organizations, and other stakeholders have all made a plea to EPA to recognize that we simply cannot rely on a single strategy of EVs.  “All we asked for was a chance to provide current and up to date information, much of which is supported by EPA’s own data, as well as DOE work that has shown dramatic improvements in vehicle efficiency. They did not even ask for comments—something even the Trump EPA did in their version of the rule.”

“It is beyond a swing and a miss—they didn’t even take a swing.  EPA will l say this rule only sets standards through 2026, and there will be future opportunities to address liquid fuels. Well, as noted, in the meantime we will be subject to a range of negative health impacts from high carbon octane for years when a simple, cost-effective solution is right here, right now.”