Valero wants US Renewable Fuel Standard tied to gasoline demand

18 March 2013 16:16  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (ICIS)--The US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires refiners to blend ethanol and other renewable fuels into the gasoline pool, should be repealed or at least tied to gasoline demand, Valero said on Monday.

In 2012, the RFS required refiners to blend about 13.2bn gal (49.9bn litres) of ethanol into the gasoline pool. They blended slightly more, at 13.3bn gal, right at 10% of total gasoline production, which was about 133bn gal.

For 2013, the requirement is even higher, at 14bn gal, which would require refiners to produce at least 140bn gal of gasoline. The ethanol industry has championed the use of E15, which is gasoline blended with 15% ethanol, in order to meet the RFS. However, refiners are reluctant to blend it because of the possible harm it may cause to older vehicles.

It is a prospect that has refiners crying foul because gasoline demand has been steadily falling since 2008.

"The right thing to do is couple the RFA, if you're going to have one, with actual gasoline demand," said Valero spokesman Bill Day.

Day made his comments during the annual meeting of the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers in San Antonio, Texas. The meeting ends on 19 March.

He said the RFS was created before the financial meltdown of 2008, when gasoline demand was soaring.

That is no longer the case.

"The RFS has gone up while gasoline demand has gone down," he said. "Now there's no relationship at all."

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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