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Renewable Fuels - Ethanol (C2H5OH)

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For current headlines, analysis and data relating to the ethanol industry visit the DTN Ethanol Center.

 

June 2012 On June 11, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) filed a lawsuit with the D.C. Circuit Court challenging the decision by the EPA to deny a petition to waive the 6.8 million gallon cellulosic fuel volumetric obligation for 2011.  AFPM, WSPA and the American Petroleum Institute filed the petition in January after EPA released data indicating that no cellulosic biofuel had been produced in 2011.  By refusing to grant the January petition, EPA is now mandating that refiners pay an estimated $7.5 million penalty despite an "impossibility of performance" by the industry.  The fuel does not exist.  To date, not one large-scale commercial cellulosic plant is operational and a recent study by the Congressional Research Service claims that there are "substantial uncertainties" regarding cellulosic ethanol.

 

April 2012  On April 2, the EPA approved the first applications for registration of ethanol for its use in blends of up to 15 percent in gasoline (E15).  Registration is a prerequisite to introducing E15 into the marketplace, and all individual fuel and fuel additive manufactures involved in making E15 are required to register with EPA.  This latest action follows the two EPA decisions during 2011 that allow for the sale of E15 in certain vehicles and engines.  For more information, click here.

 

February 2012 On February 17, EPA released its evaluation of information submitted by the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy (GrE) relating to emissions and health effects data for E15.  The document concludes that the submission is sufficient to satisfy select registration requirements.  E15 must be registered with EPA before it may be lawfully sold for use in model year 2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles only.  Fuel and fuel additive manufactures who wish to register E15 may rely on the RFA and GrE submission for completing their applications.  There may be additional requirements under other federal, state and local laws, that also need to be met before E15 can be made available for sale on the open market.

 

November 2011 A new EPA regulation requires additional language in all gasoline product transfer documents (PTDs), or bills of lading, starting on November 1, 2011.  This requirement was included in EPA’s July 25 final rule relating to misfueling of 10 - 15% ethanol blended gasoline.  Most provisions in the rule, including dispenser labeling and E-15 certification requirements, will not go into effect until 2012 or later.  However, terminals must include specific ethanol and RVP content language on all gasoline PTDs by November 1, 2011, regardless of whether the gasoline is being blended with ethanol.  The details of the new requirements are available here. 

 

March 2011 On March 21, ILTA joined NPRA and WSPA in filing a petition for judicial review in opposition to EPA’s January 2011 decision to allow E15 for use in model year 2011-2006 passenger vehicles.  This is the second petition filed jointly by ILTA, NPRA and WSPA on the issue of a partial waiver for E15.  The first opposed EPA’s October 2010 decision to allow the use of E15 in model year 2007 and newer light-duty vehicles.

 

Also during March, Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced a bill proposing to eliminate the federal government’s $6 billion ethanol subsidy.  The Congressional Budget Office also issued a report stating that the ethanol tax credit is no longer needed to ensure demand for domestic ethanol production.

 

January 2011 On January 26, EPA approved the sale and distribution of gasoline containing up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) for use in model year 2001-2006 passenger vehicles, including cars, sport utility vehicles and light pick-up trucks.  This expands the agency’s October 2010 decision to allow the use of E15 for use in model year 2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles. For additional information, click here. 

 

2008-2010 Updates, Comments & Other Reports

 

Related ILTA Articles

 

ILTA provides a monthly newsletter to its membership. Members may log in to the Member Resources page to access archived newsletters. The following is a list of articles ILTA has published in its newsletter relating to the ethanol industry.

  • Industry Groups Sue EPA Over Cellulosic Biofuel Mandate, July 2012 Issue (p.5)

  • E15 Engine Test Results in Mechanical Damage in Some 2001-2009 Vehicles, June 2012 Issue (p.2)

  • EPA Approves First Applications for E15 Registration, But Market Barriers Remain, May 2012 Issue (p.5)

  • EPA Requires New PTD Language for Loading Gasoline at Terminals, November 2011 Issue (p.3)

  • EPA Issues Final Rule on Measures Aimed at Mitigating Misfueling from Use of E15, August 2011 (p.2)

  • A Deeper Look at Corn Ethanol Policy Economics, July 2011 (p.7)

  • Chasing Rainbows in Search of Cellulosic Biofuels, August 2011 (p.2)

  • Industry Appeals EPA's Second E15 Decision; Commercial E15 Remains Illegal, April 2011 Issue (p.2)

  • EPA Allows Use of E15 in More Motor Vehicles, February 2011 Issue (p.4)

2005-2010 Articles

 

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