Ethanol Debate Continues in 2014

The 60-day comment period on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed 2014 Renewable Fuel Standard statutory levels for ethanol and advanced biofuels will close mid-month. No matter what the EPA does - some groups continue to argue that it's Congress that needs to act to provide a permanent fix. Groups like the American Petroleum Institute have called for a full repeal of the RFS. There's a belief among some analysts that there's too much renewable fuel amid insufficient demand. Bloomberg New Energy Finance Analyst Alejandro Zamorano says we use about 2.5-times more ethanol than needed in the U.S. because of the RFS and the renewable fuel mandate in it. Lawmakers are certainly looking for answers. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Tom Coburn have proposed stripping ethanol from the RFS. Fuels America and Growth Energy have both called that legislation short-sighted. According to Fuels America - the measure would strand billions of dollars already invested in advanced fuels, undermine research and development and threaten thousands of potential jobs.

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