On Wednesday, the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) expects 2014 gasoline consumption to be 135.2 billion gallons. This includes the volumes of ethanol contained in all gasoline-ethanol blends including both E10 and higher blends. STEO forecasts future gasoline consumption by analyzing a number of factors including gasoline prices, economic and employment trends, weather, demographics, changes in consumer behavior patterns and new data on actual consumption. EPA uses STEO data to determine RFS blending volumes each year.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said last week that the long-delayed 2014 RFS blending volume requirements final rule will be higher than what was proposed in late 2013 in which she indicated the ethanol numbers will go up to reflect the increase in gasoline sales volume. However, she did not indicate the exact amount. This week’s EIA STEO report all but assures a future slight increase in the final 2014 RFS corn-based ethanol blending numbers.
The 2014 RFS proposed rule has been sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review. It is unclear when EPA will issue the final rule.