API to Lawmakers: Repeal or Reform RFS

NEW YORK (DTN) -- The American Petroleum Institute's Downstream Group Director Frank Macchiarola on Tuesday said policymakers should repeal or significantly reform the Renewable Fuel Standard, a federal mandate that requires an increasing volume of renewables to be used instead of petroleum-based products.

At a news conference and in a subsequent release, Macchiarola said any efforts to tinker with the RFS at the margins would not work and would continue to push consumers to use high ethanol blends that they don't want and could harm their car engines.

"Nearly 90% of vehicles on the road today were not designed for higher ethanol blends, such as E15. And many automakers say that using E15 could void car warranties," said Macchiarola. "Higher ethanol blends threaten engines and fuel systems -- potentially forcing drivers to pay for costly repairs, according to extensive testing done by the auto and oil and natural gas industries."

Macchiarola said moving the point of obligation under the RFS from refiners and importers downstream to wholesalers and retailers "does nothing to address this fuel incompatibility problem."

"We need fundamental change to the RFS, and moving the point of obligation adds complexity to an already broken program and undermines efforts at real reform," he said.

API is a national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8% of the U.S. economy. API's more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation's energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.

(BM/AG)