The Environmental Protection Agency opened the public comment period on its proposal to increase biofuels in the 2017 fuel supply, a move that would increase the amount of ethanol in the fuel supply and prompt more pumps selling fuel with 15 percent ethanol, or E15.
The EPA’s newest proposal increases the need for higher blends of ethanol to record levels in 2017, pushing further past the E10 blend wall, according to critics of the proposal. The blend wall is the term used for the maximum amount of ethanol in fuel that all engines can tolerate — which is E10, or 10 percent ethanol.
“The proposal would increase the amount of E15 that must be sold next year [by at least 700 million gallons], putting countless Americans at risk of misfueling with a prohibited fuel,” the National Marine Manufacturers Association said.
The EPA has slowed the increase of ethanol in the overall fuel supply in previous years from the requirements set forth in the 2007 Renewable Fuel Standard, but continues to set increases the law requires.
The biofuels industry also reacted angrily to the EPA’s proposal for a “modest increase,” as it fell well below the requirements set forth in the RFS.
Public comments are “critical” in this process, the NMMA said.
The EPA will take them into consideration before it finalizes the 2017 ethanol mandate.