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Biotechnology Innovation Organization and Advanced Biofuels Business Council Ask Senators to Support Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act

Submitted by on June 13, 2017 – 1:41 pmNo Comment

(Biofuels Journal)  More than 25 advanced biofuel producers and trade associations today sent a letter to members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, asking them to support the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S.517), the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) and Advanced Biofuels Business Council (ABBC) announced.

Under current law, fuels containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) cannot be sold during the summer driving season in many states.

In 1990, Congress limited the amount of evaporative emissions from vehicle fuel at 9 pounds per square inch (psi) Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP).

At the time, Congress specified that fuel with 10 percent ethanol (E10) would receive a 1 psi RVP waiver, in recognition of E10‘s overall lower emissions profile.

The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act will extend the RVP waiver to ethanol blends above 10 percent.

“Moving to E15 not only reduces the cost of gasoline by between 5 and 15 cents per gallon, but also reduces emissions harmful to the environment.

“Recent analysis from the Biotechnology Innovation Organization indicates that in just the summer months E15 can reduce GHGs equivalent to taking 2.1 million vehicles off the road.

“In addition to the environmental benefits, the Energy and Environmental Studies Institute has written that E15 can lower the public health impacts from transportation emissions like cancer and asthma.”  READ MORE and MORE (Morning Consult) and MORE (NGT News) and MORE (Biofuels Digest) and MORE (Politico’s Morning Energy) and MORE (DTN The Progressive Farmer) and MORE (Ethanol Producer Magazine) and MORE (The Washington Times) and MORE (KTIC Radio) and MORE (Agri-Pulse) and MORE (Washington Examiner) and MORE / MORE (Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association)

 

Excerpt from DTN The Progressive Farmer:  Ethanol and gasoline are both low volatility. When the two fuels are mixed, the volatility spikes, but only at blends just below E10. As more ethanol is blended with gasoline, the vapor pressure decreases, which essentially means E15 reduces vapor pressure.

Janet Yanowitz, an engineer with EcoEngineering, Inc., told the committee E15 can help reduce ground-level ozone through reductions in volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides.

“Fuel effects on motor vehicle emissions are difficult to quantify because different vehicles can behave quite differently,” she said.

Yanowitz summarized the results of a number of studies on ethanol and ozone.

The addition of 10% ethanol to gasoline, she said, results in an increase in vapor pressure.

“The addition of 15% ethanol to the same blendstock results in almost exactly the same impact on the vapor pressure,” Yanowitz said.

“Nonetheless, it can be concluded that replacing E10 with E15 that benefits from the same 1 psi waiver is a small change, with minimal emissions impacts, according to the best-available emissions test data.

“On average, the total tailpipe organic emissions and the ozone-forming potential of those organics will be expected to decrease or stay the same, and nitrous oxide, or NOx, is expected to be unchanged with a move to E15. Ethanol and acetaldehyde emissions will likely increase. Carbon monoxide (CO) will decrease.”

Yanowitz’s analysis for the committee was based on peer-reviewed scientific literature and studies by the coalition of petroleum and automobile companies that make up the Coordinating Research Council or CRC.

She pointed to a 2008 study done by three national laboratories as further evidence of E15’s viability.

“They conducted emissions testing on 16 vehicles, model years ranging from 1999 through 2007 using E0, E10, E15 and E20,” Yanowitz said.

“They found that increasing the ethanol content resulted in no significant effect on NOx or organic tailpipe emissions, although the results varied widely among vehicles; CO emissions were reduced and ethanol and acetaldehyde emissions increased.”  READ MORE

 

Excerpt from Politico’s Morning Energy:  LONG WAY TO GO FOR E15: Sen. Deb Fischer got her promised hearing Wednesday on a bill to promote sales of 15 percent ethanol gasoline, but she’s going to need a lot of help to get the legislation out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Five cosponsors of the bill, S. 517, sit on the panel, but no other EPW members have declared their support, leaving it six votes short of a committee majority.

As Pro’s Eric Wolff reports, Chairman John Barrasso, top Democrat Tom Carper, and Republican former chairman Jim Inhofe all opposed the bill or would require significant changes to win their support. GOP Sens. John Boozman and Richard Shelby told ME they oppose the E15 bill, and Republicans Roger Wicker and Shelley Moore Capito have sponsored anti-ethanol legislation in the past. The last Republican on the committee, Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan , appears to have no public position on the RFS. Among EPW Democrats, Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth is the bill’s only cosponsor. ME caught up with Sen. Ed Markey, who said he hadn’t made up his mind, and Sen. Cory Booker told Eric he has “negotiations underway.”

Markup? Two ethanol sources who have had conversations with Senate staff said they expect a committee vote on Fischer’s bill in July, but everyone agreed that the timing was in flux.  READ MORE

 

Excerpt from Biofuels Digest:  The Fear? Michief-making. The bill opens the way to a host of Senate amendments aimed at limiting the RFS itself.

The IRFA said:

Because S. 517 amends the Clean Air Act, we are concerned this narrow RVP correction may draw amendments on a variety of other issues. S. 517 should be considered separate from other issues in order to maintain its narrow purpose and keep the focus on the technical fix under consideration.

The Advanced Biofuels Association breaks from the pack

Mike McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association (representing producers of 3 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel capacity) expressed “deep concern that S. 517, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, will be detrimental to the future of advanced biofuels in the U.S. We believe the future of renewable fuels in the U.S. hinges on the advanced and cellulosic industries, both of which desperately need comprehensive reform of the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) to survive. Rather than focusing on this stop-gap waiver for E15, we encourage you to dedicate your time and resources to broader RFS reform.”

“The waiver authorized by S. 517 would enable corn ethanol volumes to exceed the 15 billion gallon statutory mandate established by Congress in 2007. Because corn-based ethanol is the lowest-cost ethanol molecule on the market, increasing the E15 mandate simply makes it more economically challenging for cellulosic and other advanced fuels to compete, reducing the program’s ultimate sustainability and potential for GHG reductions. Rather than supporting the market, this bill would undercut its future. ABFA would support granting the RVP waiver request for advanced biobutanol and ethanol rather than ethanol writ-large.”

The hard data

BIO’s recent analysis, “GHG Benefits of the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act,” is available here.

READ MORE

 

The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works’ full committee hearing entitled “Legislative Hearing on S. 517, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act.”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

10:00 AM

Room 406 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building

Panel 1

Excerpt from Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association:  … a RVP waiver for E15 would not be needed if reformulated gasoline (RFG) was readily available. RFG is a gasoline blendstock with a lower PSI and using it to blend E15 would meet the EPA’s RVP requirements.

In fact, ethanol has a lower RVP than gasoline and the only reason the RVP for E15 increases is because the blending of ethanol and gasoline and the RVP of the gasoline blendstock used.   READ MORE

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