Energy Information Administration

Post image for EIA: Not Bullish on Biofuel

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is not bullish on biofuel. That’s what I infer from “Biofuels in the United States: Context and Outlook,” a Power Point presentation given by the agency at a biofuels workshop in Washington, D.C. last week. I suspect many in attendance were not pleased. 

Three slides in particular are noteworthy.

Slide no. 19 projects that even in 2040, the quantity of biofuel in the U.S. motor fuel market will be about 10 billion gallons lower than the 36 billion gallons per year required by the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by 2022.

Slides 8 and 9 may explain why. Simply put, although a gallon of ethanol is cheaper than a gallon of petroleum-based fuel, gasoline and diesel deliver more bang for buck than their ‘renewable’ counterparts. It is cheaper to drive one mile on gasoline or diesel than on ethanol or biodiesel fuel.

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Earlier this week, Politico published an op-ed by former Sen. Majority Leader George Mitchell (1989-1995) and former EPA Administrator William Reilly (1989-1993) that is as intellectually mushy as it is politically devious. 

In “Calif. Must Again Lead Way on Emission Standards,” Mitchell and Reilly pretend that the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB’s) proposal to establish a 62 mpg fuel economy standard is the moderate middle between automakers who “protest that the proposal is too demanding” and environmentalists who “want something more stringent.” Horsefeathers!

In September 2010, CARB, EPA, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued an Interim Joint Technical Assessment Report where they considered raising the passenger car fuel economy standard from 35.5 mpg in 2016 to 47 mpg, 51 mpg, 56 mpg, or 62 mpg in 2025.

Let’s not forget that the 2016 standard imposed by EPA, CARB, and NHTSA accelerated by four years the standard Congress set in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, which was itself 27% more stringent than the previous standard (27.5 mpg). In May 2011, the Auto Alliance, citing a U.S. Energy Information Administration assessment (p. 26), cautioned EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that a 62 mpg standard would depress auto sales in 2025 by 14%. Team Obama subsequently settled on a 56 mpg standard. That’s a tad less extreme than the 62 mpg standard championed by CARB, but it’s still over the top.

A remarkable study by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) – The U.S. Automotive Market and Industry in 2025 (June 2011) — reveals how cockamamie these proposals are.  [click to continue…]

Post image for Where Does Our Oil Come from?

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently posted updated information on U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Some of the facts may surprise you.

More than half (51%) of all the oil we consume is produced in the USA. [click to continue…]