March 22, 2014

I’ve been waiting for the “I told you so” moment, so I could stop writing about this lunacy.

An article in the Well Servicing Magazine a couple of months ago, probably one among many because I haven’t done much research on this topic lately, sums it up pretty well. (Pun intended) The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in EISA 2007 is imploding. After a search of the Internet I can’t even find where the EPA finalized this years ethanol blending quota, which was supposed to be set by the end of December last year. They don’t even follow their own rules. Here is the EPA proposed 2014 RFS and it is indeed the 2012 quota, but I can’t locate the finalized version.

As any fool could have seen, the constantly increasing quota to blend ethanol in gasoline was unsustainable. And finally this year, the EPA, which has sole authority to set the blending quota, blinked. Instead of increasing the quota as proscribed in the blending table embedded in the act, they decreased mandatory blending levels.


I doubt there is anywhere to go from here. Without producing copious amounts of E85, which isn’t going to happen, there is no way to fulfill the ethanol blending quota table in the RFS. E15 was dead on arrival when the EPA made it voluntary. The auto producers have wisely refused to warranty their products for anything above E10 in a non flex-fuel vehicle car. Producers and gas station chains will not sell it because they can’t afford the liability. Congress isn’t about to give them a liability waiver. If anything, Congress is trying to repeal the RFS.

On top of everything else, corn ethanol production would be capped next year anyway, so there is no use building more plants. There will be no increase in production, unless they can export it. Cellulosic ethanol was supposed to carry all of the increased ethanol production burden demanded by the quota table, but there are no commercially viable cellulosic ethanol plants, and without a market, which would have been available if E85 took off, there is no incentive to even try to perfect a process, unless it can be produced at a lot less cost than corn ethanol, which appears unlikely after three decades of trying.

I just hope the grownups in the EPA and the Congress will end this charade. Hmmm, “grownups” used in the same sentence as EPA and Congress? Disregard that, because it’s an oxymoron.



  1. At the present time, with less than 2% of gas sold being E85 type (sold in the U.S. since approx. 2001), and less than 100 stations selling new E15 type (approved in 2010), it seems to me, to be just simple math that the so-called “ethanol blendwall” was reached last year – Even (now) with over 95% of conventional gas being E10 type, it was obvious (years ago) that the rising quotas (volume of ethanol sold) could never exceed 15 billion gallons. The worst aspect of this EPA blunder is the lame efforts to reach the rising quotas (with only regular gas contributing towards targets), the public lost their right to purchase E0 ethanol-free pure-gas. In the meantime, with pro-ethanol groups pressuring the EPA to not decrease quotas for 2014, the EPA still has not issued a decision and it’s not expected until June 2014. (We have to laugh that they won’t set targets for 2014, until half the year has already passed). Other than an intense promotion of E85 (not likely consumers will have interest), hopefully the EPA will be forced to wake-up and will change/repeal all ethanol quotas or…? Either way, consumers must still stay focused SOLELY on reclaiming their right to choose/buy ethanol-free gas, because likely many more years and taxpayer funds will be wasted, while our government continues to “force” ethanol into gas. If E15 didn’t prove to public how misguided (controlled by lobbyists) the EPA has become, I don’t know what will! Recently, proposals (waivers) to promote E30 (30% ethanol) are being reviewed by the EPA – Anyone who has followed the failure of both E85 and E15 over past decade, will predict this too will fail. Rather than waste more years debating ethanol, let’s hope “someone” (likely a large law firm) convinces the EPA that they have no right (legal authority) to mandate use of any gas types that are NOT recommended or approved by engine manufacturers. Note: Despite over 16 million FFV (flex-fuel vehicles) on the road E85 + E15 failed. Which only further reinforces replacing petroleum with ethanol was a joke (scam). As for other alternative, renewable, and/or environmentally-friendly fuel types (cellulosic ethanol, natural gas, propane, electricity, etc.) the EPA’s track record does not look much better over the past 10-30 years that they’ve been squandering taxpayer funds without any demonstrative benefits.

  2. Can you tell me why the abundant ethane from Marcellus Shale to be shipped frozen to Europe for conversion to Ethylene for polymer mfgr, is not being used to make ethanol for fuel consumption (add water)? josekli@aol.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: