Proposed CAFE Standards Could Pose Deadly Threat to Biofuels
by Kris Bevill (Ethanol Producer Magazine) A coalition of agriculture and bioenergy groups, led by the 25x’25 organization, filed late comments with the U.S. EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on June 28 to draw attention to an aspect of the agencies’ proposed fuel economy standards that they believe could trigger a series of consequences that will ultimately cripple the biofuels industry.
While they agree with the overall concept of the rule, the corporate average fuel economy standards (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions standards proposed to begin in 2017 unfairly favor electric and natural gas vehicles over flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) by effectively eliminating incentives for FFV production and diminishing the positive environmental benefits of using higher ethanol blends, the groups said. According to the groups, the agencies were forward-thinking in the proposed CO2 compliance values for “advanced vehicle technologies” such as electric and natural gas vehicles, suggesting that compliance values be based on estimated alternative fuel use after the vehicle has been purchased. The same future use estimation was not applied to FFVs, however. Instead, the proposed rule suggests basing CO2 compliance values for FFVs on historical E85 usage data, which wouldn’t take into account projected increases in coming years as greater volumes of renewable fuels are required to be used as part of the renewable fuel standard (RFS).
…The agencies could remedy this situation by maintaining CAFE incentives for biofuels, which would level the playing field between FFVs and other alternative vehicle technologies, and recognizing the full lifecycle CO2 reductions of ethanol, the groups said. READ MORE