The American Petroleum Institute (API) in conjunction with the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) filed a joint-petition on Tuesday to the Environmental Protection Agency for a partial waiver to lower the amount of ethanol that must be blended into the U.S. gasoline supply in 2014.  The petition requested EPA reduce the amount of ethanol and other renewable fuels to below 10 percent of gasoline demand.  EPA has 90 days to review the petition.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) requiring refiners to buy alternative fuels made from corn, soybeans, and other products to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign energy, calls for 18.15 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be blended into the nation’s gasoline supply in 2014–a figure that API and AFPM are asking EPA to lower to 14.8 billion gallons.

“The RFS is broken beyond repair, and we are calling on the EPA to use its waiver authority to provide a stop gap measure for this unworkable mandate,” API Downstream Group Director Bob Greco said. “Higher ethanol requirements could lead to a reduction in the domestic fuel supply, increased costs, and severe harm to the U.S. economy.”

The  petition also highlights how higher ethanol blends are not a practical solution to the blend wall, especially given that E15 can damage engines and cause vehicles to break down, according to studies. “While a waiver for 2014 will provide short-term relief from the RFS mandate, the program is outdated and needs to be repealed once and for all,” Greco said. “Under the current RFS regime, ethanol requirements will continue to increase while gasoline demand continues to decline. That’s why we need a full repeal by Congress.”

“EPA has the opportunity to curtail the harmful effects of the policy next year by waiving the 2014 volumes before more economic damage is done,” said AFPM president Charles T. Drevna. “I expect it will take American families into consideration when it makes it decision.”

This lastest request marks the third attempt to waive the eight-year-old RFS.  Two prior petititions, first by Texas Governor Rick Perry in 2006 and then nearly a dozen states last year, were both rejected.

The petition is available here.