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My Reaction to the Ethanol Group Reaction to EPA's Proposal

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Marc Rauch
By Marc J. Rauch
Author of "The Ethanol Papers"
Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher

I was following along online at the website of the events taking place at the 2023 National Ethanol Conference in Orlando. The big news yesterday (Wednesday) was that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) finally announced their proposal related to clearing the way to allow year-round E15.

The EPA's decision was a typical EPA limp-wrist decision, which is to delay any substantive action for yet another year.

Geoff Cooper, CEO of Renewal Fuels Association, and Brian Jennings, CEO of American Ethanol Coalition, both offered reactions to the EPA's move. Geoff and Brian were diplomatic, which is what I guess they have to be, but they both expressed their displeasure with the decision. According to Cindy Zimmerman's story, Geoff said:

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Geoff Cooper

    "There is simply no justification for further delaying this action, which is already months overdue. By law, EPA should have finalized approval of the Governors’ petition more than seven months ago, which would have given the marketplace more than enough time to adjust and prepare for implementation this summer.”

And, Brian stated:

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    Brian Jennings
    "...EPA made multiple public promises these Midwest states would be approved for E15 market access in time for the 2023 summer driving season....Now, the Administration appears to be caving to refiner crocodile tears by kicking the can to 2024 instead. This delay means consumers in conventional gasoline areas of the country will be forced to pay more at the pump this year and retailers who want to offer lower cost E15 to their customers will be penalized.”

I must say that I was impressed, blown away, and extremely proud of the reactions from Geoff and Brian.

As I think everyone knows, my business partner (Bob Gordon) and I are not commercial "stake holders" on the issue of expanding the use of ethanol as an engine fuel. We're not distillers, farmers, distributors, or fuel retailers. We're just two simple guys from Brooklyn that own and operate the Internet's oldest and largest automotive information resource, and we have spent multiple decades studying automobiles, fuel, and energy issues. We are "stake holders" in that we are very concerned American citizens. We don't just want what is best for our company or a farm, we want what's best for the United States of America. And, for those nations with whom we are friendly, we want the best for them, too! The best is to eliminate petroleum oil fuels.

This means that I don't have to be diplomatic in my response to the EPA. Frankly, I don't give a frack what their corrupt political opinions are. The EPA’s proposal is an insult. It's nothing more than an “East Palestine-style" response to all Americans, not just Ohioans. Millions and millions of Americans have literally died or been rendered permanently ill because of petroleum oil fuels over the last 100+ years. The EPA and the Administration obviously want it to continue, and I would say this to any Administration that is standing in the way of greater ethanol use, not just Joe Biden's.

There are no legitimate or logical reasons for restricting the sale and use of ethanol fuel, regardless of how high the level of ethanol is used, and regardless of the make and model of the internal combustion engine vehicles it is used in.

The petroleum oil industry and it's demented lackeys burst forth with new scare tactics in answer to the EPA's absurd policy decision. These reports warn that the move to E15 will cause supply bottlenecks and distribution problems, and that oil industry personnel will have to go through additional training to meet the change. Here's how I regularly deal with the 'onerous task' of filling my non-flex fuel vehicles with ethanol-gasoline blends in excess of E10, but not as high as E85. Pay close attention, please, because it's very tricky:

    I pull up to a regular pump that dispenses E10. I remove the fuel cap and I stick the hose nozzle into the top of the tank's filler neck. I then squeeze the handle and dispense the desired amount of E10 (usually somewhere between 1 and 10 gallons). Then, I either push the E85 selector on the pump, or drive my vehicle a few feet to the E85 pump (if the E85 is dispensed from a separate pump), and repeat the process, adding anywhere from 1 to 10 gallons of E85 to my fuel tank.

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    At this point, I screw the fuel cap back onto the tank's filler neck, get back into the vehicle, start it, and drive away. Depending on the proportion of fuels that I "splash blended" I will be using E15, E20, E25, E30, E40, E50 or any increment. That's how difficult it is to achieve a blend higher than E10. You can see why the nitwits in the oil industry would have to be retrained.

From time to time, Bob and I get frustrated over the lack of friendly support we receive from ethanol stake holders, and we come close to backing out of the fight. But when we come across this kind of anti-ethanol stupidity, we say "damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead," and we get back in the ring!


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