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EPA proposal would require less ethanol to be produced in 2014

Last Friday, November 15th, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule that would force the United States to produce less ethanol in 2014. This is the first time the EPA has decided that less renewable fuels should be produced the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports. The reaction is due to the declining markets since Congress passed the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) in 2007.

The move was expected as the demand for higher ethanol blends has been shrinking across the country. The proposed rule by the EPA lowers the amount of ethanol that must be blended into U.S. fuel supplies from 16.55 billion gallons in 2013 to 15.21 billion gallons in 2014, the same amount that was produced in 2012.

Ethanol has been controversial. It can harm the power trains of vehicles and leave the owner with a voided warranty. It has lead to higher corn prices, which has lead to higher costs associated with certain food items such as milk, eggs and meat. Both of which have drawn the disdain of many Americans. Ethanol was supposed to be the spark that lead to cleaner renewable fuels such as switch grass and other sources of alternative fuels, and that just has not happened since the RFS law was passed six years ago.

The decreased demand for fuel in general has flat lined due to more fuel-efficient vehicles and the rising cost of fuel. The proposal is open for public comment for 60 days before it could become final.

The MRF will keep you informed on this issue.