EPA Recall of CAFE Rule is an Opportunity to Improve Fuel Quality

Source: By Kim Trinchet, Urban Air Initiative • Posted: Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The announcement by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the fuel economy rules rushed through in late 2016 will be revised is an encouraging first step for high octane fuels to play a much bigger role, according to the Urban Air Initiative (UAI).
“We commend EPA for giving this important issue of fuel economy and carbon reductions the thorough and complete evaluation it requires. This final determination opens the door for EPA to potentially remove the regulatory barriers limiting mid- level ethanol blends,” said UAI President Dave VanderGriend.
In the report released by EPA, it cites comments from the auto and ethanol industries that high-octane mid-level ethanol blends could help reduce greenhouse gas. And EPA agrees that these and other commenters have identified “promising technologies that may be able to deliver significant improvements in reducing GHG emissions once fully deployed.”
“We welcome a more comprehensive review to show high octane fuels such as ethanol can increase efficiency in not just cars of the future but in the cars on the road today. But we will also continue to point out how the EPA’s own rules are the primary obstacle to the development of high octane technologies” VanderGriend said.
The latest decision comes because the 2012 CAFE rule included an agreement by all parties to conduct a Mid Term Evaluation of the program. At the time, the ambitious standards were based on a number of assumptions such as high oil prices, significant improvements in electric vehicle technology and price and consumer preferences. The evaluation that was to have taken a year to review was rushed though before President Trump took office.

“We will continue to work with all the interested parties to share our emissions, efficiency, and health data to see if working together we can achieve these goals of cleaner fuels and efficiency,” said VanderGriend. “That said, we will be adamant in calling on regulators to recognize that internal combustion engines will remain the primary source of propulsion. These cars can achieve significant improvement with clean, high octane fuels”.