Ethanol industry groups are pleased that the Environmental Protection Agency has decided that blends of 15% ethanol are safe for use in all cars and pickups built in 2001 and later.
Growth Energy filed the original waiver back in 2009 to raise the regulatory cap on the ethanol blend from 10 percent to 15 percent to create more jobs and increase the nation’s energy security.
“This is a bold move forward, changing America’s energy future for the better,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “Increased use of ethanol will strengthen our energy security, create U.S. jobs, and improve the environment by displacing conventional gasoline with a low-carbon fuel.” According to the organization, which is holding a press conference on the announcement, a full move to E15 creates a bigger market for American ethanol that could help create as many as 136,000 new jobs in the United States and eliminate as much as 8 million metric tons of GHG emissions from the air in a year — the equivalent of taking 1.35 million vehicles off the road.
“Today’s decision greenlights the use of E15 for nearly two out of every three cars on the road today and furthers proves ethanol is a safe, effective fuel choice for American drivers,” said Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen. “EPA continues to move in the right direction with respect to increasing ethanol blends, but challenges still remain. The RFA continues to urge EPA to extend the waiver for E15 use to all cars and pickups.”
Dinneen notes that today’s announcement will accelerate the timeframe in which most vehicles on American roads will be covered by the waiver. “However, given that not every vehicle on the road is being approved, labeling issues and misfueling concerns by gas station owners must still be addressed. Additionally, the RFA worked with gas station owners and gasoline marketers to get legislation introduced in the last Congress to address misfueling concerns.”
Brian Jennings, Executive Vice President of the American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), says the move is another important step in making more renewable fuel choices available to consumers. “ACE continues to be confident that the scientific evidence proves E15 is safe and reliable for all cars, and is disappointed that EPA continues to insist of this confusing model-year division, especially when models earlier than 2000 are being excluded without scientific evidence of any issues with using E15 in those vehicles,” said Jennings. “We are pleased with this positive step, but remain concerned about the unnecessary confusion that will unfortunately be caused by EPA’s piecemeal, partial-waiver approach.”