In Pennsylvania, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration held the third and final public hearing on their joint proposal for 2021-2026 fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards, at which the Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Kelly Davis testified. Davis said that “a high-octane, low-carbon fuel containing 20-40% ethanol used in optimized engines would be the lowest cost means of achieving compliance with fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards for model year 2021-2026 and beyond,” according to the RFA.
“Research by the Department of Energy and others has demonstrated that ethanol is an ideal source of octane for such high-octane fuel blends,” Davis said. “A high-octane fuel (98-100 RON) could be produced today simply by blending 25-30% ethanol with existing gasoline blendstocks. However, due to the inertia of fuel and vehicle markets, this transition will not occur on its own. Action by the EPA is necessary to catalyze the development and introduction of high octane low carbon fuels into the consumer market, just as EPA action was required to eliminate lead, limit benzene, and reduce the sulfur content of our gasoline and diesel fuel,” she testified.