06 May 2008 23:32 [Source: ICIS news]
Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association (NPRA), told a House energy committee hearing that “broad national mandates for ethanol use represent poor public policy.”
Speaking before the House subcommittee on energy and air quality, Drevna warned that the newest federal mandate for biofuels production and consumption “will impose significant costs on consumers and the nation."
The House panel heard testimony from Drevna, ethanol producers, environmentalists and other members of Congress about the biofuels mandate contained in the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), passed by Congress and signed by President George Bush in December last year.
The statute established a new renewable fuel standard (RFS) that requires 36bn gal/year of biofuels production and consumption by 2022, including 15bn gal/year of corn-based ethanol. Current
Several members of the subcommittee, both Democrats and Republicans, were critical of the newly approved mandate for 15bn gal/year of corn ethanol, saying it is driving up prices for corn, other food grains, livestock and general food items.
Drevna joined those urging repeal of the EISA biofuels mandate, saying it is “unsustainable, untenable and unworkable." He reminded the panel that NPRA had raised the same objections 20 years earlier when Congress was first considering a biofuels mandate.
He also questioned whether the
Drevna said that the 250m cars and light trucks on US highways today can accept a maximum of 10% ethanol in the gasoline fuel mix - known as E-10 fuel. If all of those vehicles were using E-10, they would consume 15bn gal/year of ethanol at most.
“Even if we could produce 36bn gal/year of biofuels, the
The subcommittee is expected to hold further hearings on the ethanol mandate, and committee leaders indicated they would support at least some adjustment to the 2007 renewable fuels requirement.
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