The American Petroleum Institute, also known as API, recently called on the Obama administration to use its waiver authority to lower what it considers an unsafe ethanol mandate “before it hurts consumers, damages vehicles, and delivers a severe blow to America’s economy.”

“The ever increasing ethanol mandate has become unsustainable, causing a looming crisis for gasoline consumers,” API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco said in a prepared statement. “We’re at the point where refiners are being pressured to put unsafe levels of ethanol in gasoline, which could damage vehicles, harm consumers, and wreak havoc on our economy.”
The mandate could drive up the cost of diesel by 300 percent and the cost of gasoline by 30 percent by 2015 as the nation approaches the blend wall when more ethanol is required than is safe for vehicles, Greco says, citing recent report by NERA.

In turn, he adds, that could cause a $770 billion decrease in US GDP and reduce take home pay for American workers by approximately $580 billion. Furthermore, higher ethanol blends can damage engines and cause vehicles to break down, according to testing by the Coordinating Research Council.

“Congress must repeal the mandate,” Greco says. “But there isn’t much time to get this done. To protect consumers in the near term, EPA has the authority to reduce the mandate now. This would immediately lessen the blend wall problem until Congress can act.”

About the American Petroleum Institute
API is a national trade association that represents all segments of America’s technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 500 members – including large integrated companies, exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, plus service and supply firms – provide most of the nation’s energy.