EPA should view RFS as floor, not ceiling

Source: By Mark Dorenkamp, Brownfield News • Posted: Thursday, February 16, 2017

A technical director for an organization dedicated to reducing vehicle emissions says the EPA should view the Renewable Fuels Standard as a floor instead of a ceiling.

Steve VanderGriend with the Urban Air Initiative tells Brownfield there’s an ample supply of ethanol, and it would cost very little to upgrade most retail pumps for higher blends.

But he accuses the EPA of following outdated protocol by not testing beyond zero to ten percent ethanol.

“Now we’re just shooting ourselves in the foot when we talk about 25 or 30 percent (blends).  I’ve disassembled some of these older dispensers with the E85 and it’s like ‘ok, show me the problem.”

He says myths about ethanol remain, and the agency that oversees the RFS could be partly to blame.

“I’m going to put it bluntly, I think there’s just too much inbreeding between EPA and Big Oil.  The Department of Energy isn’t all that immune from this, either.  But the gentleman EPA hired to be part of the blending in 2006 came from Exxon Mobile.”

VanderGriend cites a 15 year period between the request and eventual UL certification of E85 fuel dispensers as an example of the EPA’s reluctance to support ethanol.

The EPA did increase the Renewable Volume Obligations for ethanol to statutory levels under the RFS late in 2016.