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RFA, ACE say EPA missed octane opportunity

Ethanol groups are not happy with the EPA’s final regulations for fuel economy standards. Although a rollback of the Obama administration’s standards, Geoff Cooper with the Renewable Fuels Association says they saw a glimmer of hope for higher octane standards in the new rule. Cooper tells Brownfield Ag News, “This would have been the perfect opportunity for them to do that but this final rule doesn’t do that. It missed an opportunity and EPA took a pass on doing anything around octane. So, here we are with yet another swing and miss by EPA.”

Cooper says EPA sided with the oil industry in its so-called SAFE rule –which EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler says strikes the right balance, “By improving fuel economy, continuing to reduce air pollution – and air pollution will go down under this rule, and, making new vehicles more affordable for all Americans.”

Brian Jennings, with the American Coalition for Ethanol, says the rule appears to give special treatment to natural gas vehicles but fails to extend much-needed incentives for the continued production of flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs).

Cooper says Congress can intervene through legislation and Jennings says his coalition will continue to work to advance new Low Carbon Octane Standard legislation “to establish a minimum octane standard of 98 RON gasoline from clean sources of octane that reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions such as ethanol.”

Interview with Geoff Cooper
EPA Andrew Wheeler conference call

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