NPRA opposes biofuels proposal
Jan 12, 2007 10:23 AM
The National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA) is opposing federal legislation that, if approved, would increase the renewable fuels standard to 30 billion gallons in 2020 and 60 billion gallons in 2030.
The proposal also would require automakers to gradually increase flex-fuel vehicle (FFV) production, increasing in 10 percentage-point increments annually, until nearly all vehicles sold in the US are FFVís within 10 years, according to information from the office of Sen Joseph Biden (D-Delaware).
ďAs NPRA has consistently stated, energy policy based on mandates is no recipe for success," said Charles T Drevna, NPRA executive vice-president, in a news release. "Ethanol from corn is not economic or energy efficient. It has lower energy content than gasoline, has ozone emission problems, especially in warmer weather, and poses transportation and logistical issues."
The bill would require large oil companies to install E85 pumps at their stations, increasing by five percentage points annually over the next 10 years, resulting in approximately 50 percent of all major brand gasoline stations nationwide having E85 pumps available within a decade, according to information from Sen Biden's office. Other sponsors include Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Richard G Lugar (R-Indiana), Byron L Dorgan (D-North Dakota), Barack Obama, (D-Illinois).
About 700 service stations, mostly in the Midwest, provide E-85. This volume accounts for less than one percent of the total ethanol volume used in the nationís fuel supply, less than one percent of a product that altogether makes up only four percent of the total gasoline supply, according to NPRA.
Drevna added that no infrastructure has been built to store, transport and/or sell E-85, or that few studies of the impact of E-85 have been conducted. "This legislation itself acknowledges the inadequate numbers of appropriate pumps and vehicles that, when coupled with problems in distributing ethanol, demonstrate that ethanol mandates can easily outstrip the ability of our current infrastructure to deliver.
"Even with these drawbacks, we are not opposed to the use of ethanol, biodiesel, E-85, or other alternatives based upon market pricing," Drevna said. "We believe that alternative fuels will be a growing part of the nationís energy supplies as their economic viability improves and technological progress continues. We do continue to remain opposed to mandates and subsidies. And we believe that renewable fuels are not the answer to Americaís supply problems, nor can they deliver on the promise of energy independence. Before collectively abandoning hydrocarbons and stocking up on carbohydrates for energy, all stakeholders should fully understand the proper role of renewables as part of the nationís transportation fuel mix."
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