Challenges Continue for 15% Ethanol Blend

Another challenge to the waiver allowing 15% ethanol blends in regular gasoline was made last week by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) who introduced legislation to “require that the EPA certify, not only that a new fuel will not lead to emissions increases, but also that the fuel will not reduce fuel efficiency or damage engines.”

The Renewable Fuels Association says Sensenbrenner is “missing the point” when it comes to allowing American consumers the choice of using E15 ethanol blends and that EPA has already thoroughly tested E15 for safety – enough to make approximately 4,700 round trips from Washington to Milwaukee.

In an interview at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting annual meeting, RFA Director of Market Development Robert White talked about the status of the E15 waiver and when we can expect the fuel to become commercially available. “We’re close,” White says. “The EPA is going through some final information that we’ve submitted from an implementation plan to the health effects testing. We actually expect a green light at any moment.”

However, once it is approved at the federal level, White says the attention turns to the states, which have different statutory regulations for fuel sales. If the states require their own labeling, White says it will be in addition to the label already approved by the EPA, that clearly states how consumers should use E15. “We’re trying to make sure that consumers have all the information they need to make the right choice and we think they’re smart enough to figure that out,” he said, noting that RFA is complementing the efforts of EPA with a consumer education campaign.

Listen to my interview with Robert White here: RFA's Robert White

7 thoughts on “Challenges Continue for 15% Ethanol Blend

  1. couple of quotes the Congressman should read

    I have been filling my 1995 Caprice with 14 gallons of 87 and 6 gallons of E85. It gets the same mileage on that mix as it does on 87. And it seems to run a little better.

    My buddy lives the next county over and has a 2000 something Ford Explorer. He was complaining how it would ping on 87, and he had to run high test in it. There is a station near his house with E85 and I told him to mix like I do. He tried it, and says the Explorer runs great with about E30. No pinging and cheaper than high test.

  2. What I would like to know, and it seams everyone has missed,..why isnt big oil undergoing the same scrutiny by the EPA as the clean bio fuels are subjected to, can anyone tell me that.

  3. How is it that a Brazil is able to switch to a dual fuel economy featuring E100 with the support of the people, but in the U.S. there is such resistance to the obvious need for fuel alternatives? Wars, spills, unemployment, pollution, economic collapse – what warning signs are missing?

    I think we better stand united on this issue and make the sacrifices necessary to distribute E85 as broadly as possible. If E15 is such a dire hardship for some Americans I worry for our country and our lost sense of purpose, community, adaptability, resilience, and self-reliance.

  4. E15 serves no purpose other than to profit the ethanol industry. We already have E85 (use it or blend it if you want ethanol). But, taking away a consumers’ choice to buy E0 ethanol-free fuel, while trying to forcefully sneak E15 into the market WHEN ALL (conventional) ENGINE MANUFACTURERS ONLY APPROVE OF UP TO 10% E10, deserves criticism and counterattack. You ask why we are not like Brazil? The failure of your E85 plan over the past decade, primarily due to your lack of involvement and concern for the public is to blame. Most Americans strongly support use of domestically produced alternative fuels than can REPLACE petroleum, but have lost all trust in the ethanol industry. You failed and you have earned it. I’m now turned off to “everything ethanol”, including E85 which I used to strongly support.

  5. Continued: You are NOT close to legally distributing E15. Have you even read EPA’s Nov 17th statement?… “E15 is not registered with EPA and is therefore not legal for distribution or sale as a transportation fuel…The granting of the partial waivers is only one of several requirements for registration…”. And what about the numerous pending lawsuits intended to stop the sale of E15? Yes, I know many are illegally over-blending E10 to contain 15, 20, and even 63% ethanol, but your dream that gas stations would be willing to sell a potentially dangerous (not engine manufacturer approved) fuel type and consumers would be foolish enough to buy it, will remain a dream and not reality. Stop wasting time with E15 and try developing an ethanol plan that we all could support.

  6. Yeah, great idea. Let’s use E85 so we can get 30% less mileage than we’re already getting with 10% ethanol. And don’t give me all this crap about how there’s no mileage difference, because you can’t change the laws of physics. Alcohol cannot produce the energy of gasoline. It’s a fact no matter how much ethanol groupies don’t like it.

  7. I’ve heard farmers get subsidies, ethanol producers get subsidies but are there any guberment programs to help me pay for my lawn and garden equipment that is damaged by ethanol?