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House bill proposes capping ethanol content in gasoline at 9.7%

US Representatives Bill Flores (R-TX), Peter Welch (D-VT), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Jim Costa (D-CA) have introduced legislation—H.R. 5180 —that would cap the maximum volume of ethanol blended into the transportation fuel supply at 9.7% of projected gasoline demand as determined by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

It also requires EPA to meet its statutory deadlines in setting annual RFS volumes. If the EPA fails to meet a deadline, the previous RFS volumes under the blend wall would apply.

Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Cedric Richmond (D-LA) are also original cosponsors of the bill.



Didn't we get to almost a full 10%?

I understand the concern with oxidated fuels.

But how about fuels from waste? I think the us should set incremental targets for it's energy...say 1% more per year from renewable sources, and offer incentives to those that utilize waste or perform a service. We don't need to push ethanol, but there should be efforts on getting liquid fuels close to carbon neutral/better for the environment until super batteries get here.

We have so many waste streams in America that are either untreated, or under utilized, we could FT nearly anything now a days, might as well look for new ways to make oil from waste.

There are more uses for oil than just fuel, so if we are truely going off of petroleum we will need a replacement for lubricants and near infinite amout of other uses that it carries out.


This is not a good idea. Every analysis of GW carbon emissions claim quicker results a priority and that alternative energy including hydro, wind, and nuclear build out still below increasing global emissions thanks to developing economies. Ethanol is currently decreasing emissions of fuel supply and the production of this fuel is steadily lowering carbon rating. So, all in all we should not limit any source of lower carbon energy. The automotive industry is in the stage of engineering higher efficient engines with high octane needs. The E30 grade of fuel will not only dilute the high carbon gasoline, but make the fuel more efficient. These will be the mild hybrid class of vehicle. This should decrease emissions 50% from present and the best part the low cost technology will become popular choice with public. Also, ethanol fuel production does not have a high technology burden. Meaning, every country could purchase U.S production technology and construction equipment. This will improve their trade and put more wealth within their rural farm communities. We need it all and not to be picky.


The friends of BIG oil strike again.


That's an interesting take Trees, I'm for a varied and complicated solution to the future...

And depending on where the hydro starts and how it's implemented, I don't know if I consider it an all out green solution. It can be destructive to the natural habitats and create unforeseen issues down the road.

I always thought big oil wanted ethanol? As they pretty much control most of it?

Oxidized fuels burn cleaner, but cause more harm to injectors and fuel pumps, ethanol has its own problems with absorbing water and separating out of the blended mix.

I don't see ethanol as an end all be all solution, but synthetic fuels from waste would be my solution to carbon heavy petroleum products. We'll need a green crude eventually. So if bacteria/algea can make drop in fuels, great.


For a more balanced view, here is the Renewable Fuels Association's May 11 statement on the bill:

WASHINGTON — On Tuesday, biofuel critics Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Jim Costa (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would cap ethanol blends in the U.S. transportation pool to no more than 9.7 percent by volume. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen had the following statement:

“Passage of this bill would represent a complete capitulation to the oil industry that steadfastly refuses to provide consumers higher octane, lower cost alternative fuels at the pump. They whine about a so-called blend wall even as they continue to build it themselves by denying consumer access to E15 and E85. The RFS was made necessary by oil company intransigence. It was intended to break the stranglehold oil companies have on the motor fuel market by forcing access. This bill would gut the RFS and send America’s energy and climate change policy back decades. Americans want choices at the pump, they want to see lower carbon fuels, they want to spend less on motor fuel, and they want to stimulate investments in new technologies and new fuels to drive our economy in a low carbon world. This bill would sacrifice all of that at the altar of Big Oil, and that is why it will never pass.”


Also, since the beginning of 2015 (71 weeks), the ethanol blend rate has exceeded 9.7% 25 times (more than one-third of the time). The blend rate even exceeded (gasp) 10.0% twice during that span. The average blend rate since the beginning of 2015 has been 9.57%.

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