RFA Welcomes Inclusion of High Octane Fuels in 2021-2026 CAFE/GHG Proposal

Source: By Rachel Gantz, RFA • Posted: Friday, August 3, 2018

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) welcomed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) request for public comments on how high octane fuels could facilitate engine efficiency improvements and reduced emissions under 2021-2026 fuel economy and tailpipe GHG standards for light-duty automobiles (CAFE/GHG).

The solicitation for comments on high octane fuels is part of EPA’s long-awaited proposed rule for 2021-2026 CAFE/GHG standards. According to EPA’s proposal, “Higher octane gasoline could provide manufacturers with more flexibility to meet more stringent standards by enabling opportunities for use of lower CO2 emitting technologies (e.g., higher compression ratio engines, improved turbocharging, optimized engine combustion).” EPA asks for comment on how it could “support the production and use of higher octane gasoline” to help enable compliance with CAFE/GHG requirements.

The proposal also highlights previous recommendations from the High Octane Low Carbon Alliance (HOLC), of which RFA is a founding member. EPA writes, “In the meetings with HOLC and the (Fuel Freedom Foundation), the groups advocated for the potential benefits high octane fuels could provide via the blending of non-petroleum feedstocks to increase octane levels available at the pump. The groups’ positions on benefits took both a technical approach by suggesting an octane level of 100 is desired for the marketplace, as well as, the benefits from potential increased national energy security by reduced dependencies on foreign petroleum.”

In response to today’s proposal, RFA Executive Vice President Geoff Cooper offered the following statement:

“For far too long, the CAFE/GHG program has focused only on the effects of engine technologies on fuel efficiency and emissions, while failing to recognize the important role that the fuels themselves play in determining efficiency and emissions impacts. RFA has relentlessly advocated throughout the midterm evaluation process that the impact of fuel properties on efficiency and emissions must be considered, and we provided detailed information showing that high octane fuels can provide tremendous benefits. We are pleased to see that EPA’s proposal recognizes that high octane fuels can help enable more efficient engines and reduce GHG emissions, and we believe the Agency should use its authority to include high octane low carbon fuels as an option available to automakers for meeting more stringent fuel economy and emissions standards in the future.”

RFA submitted detailed comments on the EPA’s CAFE/GHG Midterm Evaluation, which are available here: