Allegedly imaginary ethanol “blend wall” mysteriously cost refiners at least $1.3 billion in 2013 « Hot Air: "When Congress first enacted and then expanded the inglorious ethanol subsidy that is the Renewable Fuel Standard back in 2007, lawmakers devised the rule — requiring that refiners blend certain volumes of biofuels into the country’s fuel supply or else buy credits for an exemption — based on the crucial assumption that the nation’s demand for gasoline would continue to decrease indefinitely as our economy grew. Therefore, they reasoned, the fuel supply would be able to absorb an annually increasing amount of ethanol — but because of increased fuel efficiency and slackened economic growth, that hasn’t been the case at all. For awhile now, refiners have been expressing concern over being forced to run the country’s gasoline up against the “blend wall,” i.e., the point at which the ethanol-gasoline blends are no longer safe for use in most cars and trucks.
Pish tosh!, cried the ethanol lobby, which (as you might imagine) is rather partial to the Standard and the many ways in which it has artificially jacked up the country’s demand for corn and other biofuel resources. When the Environmental Protection Agency announced late last year that it intended to revise the required volumes of biofuels in a downward direction, ethanol producers across the country immediately went into a tailspin of furious denunciations against the oh-so-rent-seeking oil industry’s supposedly illegitimate complaints about ethanol-to-oil ratios, or whatever made-up nonsense about which those greedy oil execs were raving. Even if that were as big a problem as the oil industry was making it out to be, Big Ethanol insisted about Big Oil’s motives, Big Oil is super-duper rich, and can totally handle the extra pressure without passing costs onto consumers.
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