The Missouri Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is fighting back at AAA for disparaging the state’s recent action allowing the retail sale of 15% ethanol blended gasoline (E15).
MCGA CEO Gary Marshall took AAA to task in a letter to the organization’s president and canceled his longtime membership following public statements misrepresenting the benefits of E15. A St. Louis Post Dispatch article following approval of E15 sales in Missouri quoted AAA as saying that “90 percent of the cars on the road are not approved by automakers to use the fuel. That could void warranties and cause engine damage.” That quote is from a November 2013 statement by AAA president Roger Darbelnet.
In his letter to Darbelnet, Marshall corrected that statement with the facts.
Approximately 80 percent of the vehicles on the road today are 2001 or newer and approved by the EPA to use the ethanol blend. Add to that, more than 60 percent of 2014 vehicles sold this year will be explicitly warranted and approved by the manufacturer to operate on E15. In terms of possible engine damage, E15 is sold in 12 other states with no issues reported. We are unaware of AAA’s Roadside Assistance program picking up a single driver stranded alongside the road due to an engine issue caused by E15.
Marshall informed Darbelnet that he is canceling his 33-year AAA membership because he refuses “to support an organization so clearly aligned with the oil industry.”