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Concerns About Ethanol

The EPA's decision to increase the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline from 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15) is slated for this fall, prior to the completion of extensive tests on E15 being carried out by the oil and auto industries. Before new transportation fuels are introduced into the marketplace, consumers need reliable scientific data on the safety and performance effects of ethanol blends on vehicles and the environment. Higher levels of ethanol have not been proven safe or effective based on testing to date.
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Various industry groups are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to refrain from making a decision on the use of increased levels of ethanol in gasoline until testing on the effects of higher-level blends is complete. Based on the findings by Sierra Research in a report commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute (API), “Identification and Review of State/Federal Legislative and Regulatory Changes Required for the Introduction of New Transportation Fuels,” multiple regulatory and legal requirements remain and must be met before higher ethanol blends can be legally marketed for commercial introduction.

“Our study found that the introduction of higher-level blends into the marketplace is not simple or straightforward. There are many changes that need to be made to federal, state, and local requirements as well as issues with vehicle warranties and the country’s fuel distribution and marketing infrastructure,” according to Jim Lyons, a Senior Partner at Sierra Research. “EPA needs to recognize and consider these issues in addition to waiting for all of the emissions and performance data to be collected.”  

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November 22, 2019, 12:22 pm PDT

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