This morning, the AAA released a statement that the EPA should re-evaulate its approval of E15. The call to action was based on a recent survey conducted by AAA. The results found, “a strong likelihood of consumer confusion and the potential for voided warranties and vehicle damage.” The press release went on to state, “An overwhelming 95 percent of consumers surveyed have not heard of E15, a newly approved gasoline blend that contains up to 15 percent ethanol. With little consumer knowledge about E15 and less than five percent of cars on the road approved by automakers to use the fuel, AAA is urging regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 until motorists are better protected.”
The ethanol industry came out in response to the survey and subsequent press release and Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy said the survey lacked any substantive research or facts, has no scientific basis and is noting more than “hollow criticism lacking any facts to back up the irresponsible claims.”
“E15 is the most tested fuel to date and the Department of Energy (DOE), a true expert on the matter has studied the fuel extensively, more than six million miles, coming to the conclusion that, “the resulting Energy Department data showed no statistically significant loss of vehicle performance (emissions, fuel economy, and maintenance issues) attributable to the use of E15 fuel compared to straight gasoline,’” added Buis.
The industry has expressed frustration with the associations attitudes toward ethanol. Prior to the sale of the fuel, a retailer must provide adequate warning information to consumers to ensure only vehicles and light duty trucks manufactured after 2001 use the ethanol blend. It is estimated that nearly 80 percent of the vehicles on the road could use E15.
“If AAA weren’t so deep in the Big Oil politics, they would stop manufacturing concern about the efficacy of ethanol blend use and report enthusiastically about ethanol’s consumer gasoline price savings,” said Bob Dinneen, CEO And President of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “Their misplaced concern today, that E15 should be further tested before being offered for sale reflects a pathetic ignorance of EPA’s unprecedented test program before approving E15 for commercial use. The miles driven on E15 equate to 12 round trips to the moon and back without a single failure, unless you want to count the deer that was killed on the test track! E15 is a safe fuel, as evidenced by the fact auto manufacturers are now providing warranty coverage for it.”