WASHINGTON — The Renewable Fuels Association’s President and CEO Bob Dinneen responds to the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) attempt to convince the Administration to waive the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and end E15.

“This is another example of oil companies unnecessarily scaring people, and it’s just flat out wrong. The Renewable Fuel Standard has created jobs, helped the economy and saved consumers money at the pump. It’s ironic that the industry that brought us MTBE, benzene, tar sands, fracking chemicals, Deepwater Horizon, Exxon Valdez, and other environmental disasters is suddenly concerned about ‘consumer safety’.

“API’s conclusions are inaccurate because their assumptions are flawed. How many times is API going to trot out the same tired study? They have pointed to their self-sponsored NERA study over and over again. But as we have noted in the past, that study ignores the flexibility of the RFS to make it easier for refiners to meet their RFS obligation. API is simply misleading people in suggesting the RFS will increase gasoline costs. The opposite is true. Ethanol is less expensive than gasoline today. It lowers prices at the pump. That’s the fact.

“API is being irresponsible in suggesting ethanol harms vehicles. API points to the Coordinating Research Council (CRC) study on E15 that has been widely criticized by the Department of Energy and many others. Ten percent ethanol is safe and approved for all vehicles on the road today. E15 is safe for all vehicles for which EPA has approved its use, 2001 and newer.”

Let’s review the facts:

*The API-funded CRC study has been debunked and criticized by the Department of Energy and others. According to the CRC study, gasoline without ethanol should also be considered by API to be “unsafe,” as there were vehicles that failed the tests when operating on gasoline without ethanol.

*The Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have determined that E15 is safe and effective for approximately 80 percent of the vehicles on the road today. Those approved vehicles account for about 87 percent of the miles traveled in the U.S., and EPA’s pump labeling requirements clearly inform consumers that E15 is not allowed in older vehicles, motorcycles, and off-road engines like lawnmowers, weed-eaters, and boats.

*The so-called blend wall is not some impenetrable market barricade—it is an artifact of oil companies’ refusal to embrace renewable fuels. All of this fuss is over 400-500 million gallons of additional ethanol blending required by the RFS in 2013—that’s 0.3 percent of the gasoline market. The E85 and blender pump infrastructure already exists to distribute the small amount of additional ethanol needed in 2013, and there are more than enough flex-fuel vehicles to consume it. E85 sales are skyrocketing in the Midwest today, with reports of E85 priced at $1 or more per gallon below regular E10.

Read Kristy Moore’s blog post about the CRC “study”.