NEWS FROM THE US
NEWS FROM THE UNITED STATES
BY KRISTEN WRIGHT
EDITOR IN CHIEF, PEI
Kristen Wright is editor in chief of the PEI Journal. Reach her at
firstname.lastname@example.org. The Petroleum Equipment Institute is a trade
association whose more than 1,600 member companies in 80-
plus countries manufacture, distribute and service petroleum
marketing and liquid handling equipment.
Although U.S. petroleum consumption was up in 2017, it was still 10 percent lower than its peak in 2005. The Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) proposed new renewable fuel volumes for 2019. The Secret Service is still fighting skimmers at gas pumps.
Texas might decrease fuel retailers’ response times to fuel quality complaints from five days to 24 hours. And the EPA approved
isobutanol as a gasoline additive in concentrations up to 16 percent.
Petroleum Consumption Up, 10 Percent
Lower Than Peak
Petroleum consumption in the U.S., used
mostly for transportation, increased in 2017
(see graph). Nevertheless, 2017 consumption
was 10 percent lower than peak petroleum
consumption set in 2005, according to
the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Petroleum has been the largest source
of energy consumption in the United States
since surpassing coal in 1950. The fossil
fuel share of total U.S. energy consumption
in 2017 was the lowest since 1902, at a little
more than 80 percent.
Renewable energy consumption in 2017-
hydroelectricity, biomass, wind and solar -
was 11.3 percent, the highest since the late
1910s when overall energy consumption
was lower and wood biomass consumption
made up a larger share. The largest growth
in renewables over the past decade has
been in solar and wind.
EPA Proposes New Renewable Fuel
The EPA on June 26 proposed 2019 renewable
fuel volume requirements under
the Renewable Fuel Standard. Under the
proposal, conventional ethanol volume for
2019 would remain at 15 billion gallons, advanced
biofuel requirements would increase
from 4.29 billion gallons to 4.88 billion gallons
and cellulosic biofuel would rise from
288 million gallons to 381 million gallons.
In addition, the EPA proposed a biomass
based diesel volume of 2.43 billion
gallons for 2020. That’s a 330 million-gallon
increase from the 2.1 billion gallons mandated
Secret Service Warns Of Pump Skimmers
Secret Service agents from 36 field offices
inspected gas pumps in 21 states for illegal
credit card skimmers before the busy Fourth
of July travel day.
AAA estimates the 2018 Fourth of July
travel period was the busiest in history with
more than 44 million Americans on the road.
Skimming is a technique that uses electronic
devices to steal encoded information
on credit cards to commit fraud. Criminals
install the small skimmers inside gas pumps
and capture the protected data of unsuspecting
victims. Fueling stations are prime
targets because of the frequency of use and
skimmers’ ease of undetected installation.
Because most gas pumps in the U.S. are
unattended, locating suspects and making
arrests in skimming cases are difficult.
The Secret Service led a similar campaign
against skimming before the 2018 Memorial
Day weekend in May, during which agents
recovered more than 70 skimmers.
Texas Modifying Fuel Quality Program
The Texas Department of Agriculture
(TDA) will modify two implementation procedures
for the state’s fuel quality program.
The TDA recently began random fuel testing
at retail locations throughout the state.
Selected retailers receive fuel sampling kits
from the TDA. Sampling must be conducted
by a Texas-licensed service company, and
retailers are responsible for costs, including
the costs to ship samples back to the TDA.
The TDA proposed reducing retailers’ response
times to fuel quality complaints from
five days to 24 hours. Operators would be
required to keep the fuel in question in their
tanks until testing is completed.
The Texas Food & Fuel Association (TFFA)
opposed both changes in a June 14 letter to
its members. The TFFA stated in the letter
that the association intends to work with the
Texas legislature on less expensive, more
EPA Approves Isobutanol Registration
The EPA on June 12 granted the request
of Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC to register
isobutanol as a gasoline additive in concentrations
up to 16 percent.
The registration affirms the EPA’s preliminary
conclusion: Blending isobutanol into
gasoline will not negatively affect health,
safety, the environment or the operation of
gasoline-fueled vehicles and engines.
Butamax is a joint venture of BP and Du-
Pont. It is the first large fuel provider to receive
approval for blending isobutanol.
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