FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2012
IRFA Asks President Obama to Temporarily Suspend Petroleum Mandate Due to Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy Could Lead to Tight Gas Supplies, While Increased Ethanol Use Could Provide Relief
JOHNSTON, IOWA – In a letter sent today to President Barack Obama, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) asked the President to temporarily suspend the federal petroleum mandate in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy and allow higher ethanol blends like E15 and E20 to be sold in order to help victims combat rising gas prices.
In the letter, IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw, in part, wrote: “The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) noted with interest that your EPA announced a waiver of clean gasoline requirements, otherwise known as reformulated gasoline (RFG), for the impacted area until November 20. We think most would agree this is a prudent step.”
“However, IRFA is asking you to go one step further to provide relief to the victims of Hurricane Sandy by taking emergency action to suspend the federal petroleum mandate for the impacted areas until November 20 as well. Taking such a step could allow consumers to temporarily use E15 or E20, a blend of 15 percent or 20 percent ethanol, without having retailers first go through the normal hurdles to offer the product.”
The letter continued, “E15 and E20 burn cleaner than conventional gasoline. So, when waiving the RFG requirements, why not give retailers and consumers a cheaper and cleaner alternative to conventional gasoline. Hundreds of millions of gallons of ethanol are in storage and dozens of ethanol plants are running at reduced rates or have been idled. By removing the restrictions to higher ethanol blends on a temporary basis consumers win, clean air wins, and American energy security wins.”
Currently federal law requires that a minimum of 85 percent of every gallon of gas sold in America be from petroleum sources. If retailers sell or consumers buy a fuel blended with less petroleum (i.e. more ethanol) they are subject to a $37,500 per day fine by the federal government.
To read the entire letter click here.
Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 13 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce 320 million gallons annually. In addition, Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing nearly 3.7 billion gallons annually and one new facility under construction.
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.
For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: www.IowaRFA.org