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Call to Action for a Truly Sustainable Renewable Future
August 8, 2013 – 5:07 pm | No Comment

-Include high octane/high ethanol Regular Grade fuel in EPA Tier 3 regulations.
-Use a dedicated, self-reducing non-renewable carbon user fee to fund renewable energy R&D.
-Start an Apollo-type program to bring New Ideas to sustainable biofuel and …

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Home » Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Agency, Federal Regulation, Opinions, Policy

EPA Opens Door to Conversation about High Octane Fuels

Submitted by on August 2, 2018 – 7:02 pmNo Comment

(Urban Air Initiative)  After being one of the first to embrace and encourage high octane fuels as a solution for reducing emissions and improving air quality, the Urban Air Initiative is relieved to finally see octane included in the latest EPA discussion about fuel economy standards.

For the CAFE/GHG standards, the  Environmental  Protection Agency’s (EPA) put out a notice for proposed rulemaking seeking public comments on if and how it could support the production and use of higher octane gasoline.  The EPA is considering fuel economy standards between 2021-2026, after taking another look at what was put in place by the previous administration.  
Urban Air believes the latest proposal is an encouraging step for high octane fuels such as ethanol to play a much larger role in improving fuel economy standards and reducing carbon emissions. Our nation’s vehicles can only be as clean and efficient as the fuels that power them.
In 2016 and 2017,  Urban Air and other partners filed formal comments related to the issue. High octane ethanol blends  would substantially benefit the nation’s economy, environment, and energy security, and would save consumers and auto manufacturers billions of dollars. It would also be the most cost effective option for meeting tighter fuel efficiency and carbon reduction standards.
The EPA says it included the request for comments after receiving input from industry stakeholders and the automotive industry, which support high octane blends as a way to enable greenhouse gas reducing technologies such as higher compression ration engines. Stakeholders suggested mid-level ethanol blends should be considered and made available at more gas stations.
We will continue to use our technical research to help educate the EPA on the need to improve our fuel in order to improve fuel efficiency and emissions.  READ MORE

Excerpt from 25 x ’25/Solutions from the Land:  Despite the issues raised by EPA in its handling of what is formally known as the Reconsideration of the Final Determination of Mid-term Evaluation (MTE), EPA now recognizes the importance of considering fuels and engines as a system. The agency explicitly invited comment on the role that fuel properties, especially octane rating, can play in facilitating compliance with long-term fuel economy and GHG emissions standards. SfL, through 25x’25, responded to that invitation, offering input and recommendations that address the agency’s specific request for comments pertaining to the impact of the standards on advanced fuels technology; particularly, the potential for high-octane blends.

As the Trump administration considers the means for setting new fuel economy and emissions standards going forward, officials should keep in mind that high-octane gasoline, available for general use, could be used by automakers to support increased introduction of higher-efficiency internal combustion power trains that can better address the need for fuel economy and reduced emissions. It should also be noted that current “premium” fuel is not a viable solution for automakers, as the octane rating is not high enough and the retail fuel price is cost-prohibitive to consumers. Ethanol provides the most cost-effective source of higher octane that can be made widely available to markets across the country by 2025 through the use of existing and expanding distribution infrastructure.

By identifying the need to increase the octane rating of regular gasoline, EPA can open up competition in the marketplace and enable ethanol producers, as well as feedstock providers like American corn and sorghum growers, an opportunity to supply lower-cost, cleaner octane – an economic boost long needed in a financially battered rural America. Additionally, increasing octane requirements would provide automobile manufacturers with near-term technology options they can utilize to achieve reductions in GHG emissions, improve the fuel economy of the nation’s light duty fleet, lower fuel costs to consumers and support sustainable job growth throughout the United States.

Solutions from the Land encourages its clean energy partners to tell NHTSA and EPA that if properly implemented, future GHG and fuel economy goals can be met in tandem with programs like the Renewable Fuel Standard to reduce emissions and fossil fuel consumption. That, in turn, will create opportunities for more biofuels that can help to attain those future environmental and efficiency goals.  READ MORE

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