Gasoline supplied to the U.S. market last week contained an average of 10.4 percent ethanol, according to data released this morning by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). It was the second time in the last four weeks that the ethanol blend rate topped 10.0 percent, a level the oil industry has suggested could not be breached. Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen said the data confirms that the so-called “blend wall” is nothing more than a fiction created by oil companies in an effort to undermine support for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
“These EIA figures show once again that the oil industry’s false blend wall narrative is not rooted in reality. This clearly shows that there’s no reason for the administration to roll back the 2017 RFS conventional biofuel blending levels required by the statute,” said Dinneen. “It also shows that supporters of legislative proposals to cap ethanol content at 9.7 percent are completely out of touch with what is really happening in the marketplace.”
EIA data show that an average of 8.798 million barrels per day (mbpd) of gasoline were supplied to the market last week. Ethanol blending averaged 0.915 mbpd, meaning gasoline contained an average of 10.4 percent ethanol. This is the highest weekly blend rate on record, topping the 10.21 percent rate seen just three weeks earlier.
The weekly data come on the heels of EIA’s October Short-term Energy Outlook, which similarly projected that gasoline consumed in 2016 will contain an average of 10.1 percent ethanol. That is up from 9.9 percent last year. In September, RFA ran ads showing that nearly half of the states in the U.S. had already blown by the 10.0 percent threshold as early as 2014.