How does the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) feel about its proposal to cut the amount of ethanol and biodiesel to be blended into the Nation’s fuel supply? Well, that depends on who the folks at the agency are talking to.
Speaking before the House Appropriations Committee last week, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy seemed to backtrack on last January’s statements before biofuels advocates when she told them that her agency “heard loud and clear that we didn’t hit that right,” indicating the EPA could be changing its stance. But when grilled by Congressman David Valadao (R-CA) who represents California agriculture and oil interests, McCarthy had a different response.
“We’re going to make sure to take a reasonable approach that recognizes the infrastructure challenges and the inability at this point to achieve the levels of ethanol that are in the law,” she said.
It’s also interesting that McCarthy did not challenge part of the premise in Valadao’s original question that stated how consumers’ vehicles could not handle higher blends than being offered right now, specifically E10. Biofuels advocates have long made the claim that most vehicles can handle at least 15 percent ethanol blends (E15), and two years ago the EPA approved E15 for use in 2001 and newer vehicles.
You can hear for yourself what McCarthy said here: EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy Before House Appropriations Committee