SEMA eNews Vol. 16, No. 15, April 11, 2013

Legislation Introduced to Ban E15 Ethanol and Improve the Renewable Fuel Standard

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

A SEMA-supported bill (HR 1462) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to reform the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The current RFS mandates that an increasing amount of ethanol or other biofuels be blended into gasoline each year—levels that are now becoming unattainable in a free marketplace. Congress enacted the RFS in 2005 and then dramatically expanded the volume of renewables to be blended each year, from 9 billion gallons in 2008 to 36 billion gallons by 2022.

The RFS has been the driving force behind a decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow the content of ethanol in gasoline to rise from 10% (E10) to 15% (E15) ethanol. E15 will then become the way refiners meet RFS mandates. In addition, the RFS requires fuel producers to meet unattainable mandates for other types of biofuels, such as cellulosic ethanol (wood, grasses and other agricultural byproducts) that have not yet been developed.

HR 1462 aims to reform the RFS by eliminating corn-based ethanol requirements, reducing the requirements of cellulosic ethanol and banning E15 in the marketplace. SEMA supports this effort to responsibly reform the RFS to eliminate the threats to older vehicles posed by E15 gasoline. SEMA supports additional legislation, HR 875 and S. 344 to halt E15 sales.

For more information, please contact Dan Sadowski at dans@sema.org.

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