The petroleum industry formally asked the Obama administration on Tuesday to lower the amount of corn-based ethanol refiners must blend into transportation fuel in 2014.
Failing to adjust the Renewable Fuel Standard’s blending targets could result in “severe harm to the U.S. economy” resulting from higher gasoline prices, the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) said in comments regarding a request for a waiver from the rule.
The groups’ claim of economic damage relied on an API-commissioned NERA Economic Consulting study that said leaving the fuel mandate intact could raise diesel costs 300 percent and gasoline costs 30 percent in 2015.
The request from the oil trade organizations comes as the Environmental Protection Agency is showing it might bend on the fuel mandate.
Created in 2005 and expanded two years later, the rule calls for blending 36 billion gallons of biofuel into traditional transportation fuel by 2022. It’s at the center of an intense lobbying and political fight that’s drawing attention on Capitol Hill.