Engine Makers Challenge EPA Over E15 Ruling

Cindy Zimmerman

A newly formed group of engine manufacturers is challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to grant a partial waiver approving the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E-15) for 2007 model year and newer passenger cars and light trucks.

The Engine Products Group, made up of several automobile, marine and small engine manufacturing organizations, filed a petition today specifically challenging whether EPA’s “partial waiver” approval for E-15 fuels violates the federal Clean Air Act provisions.

“The partial waiver for E-15 sets a bad precedent of how to introduce a new fuel. This partial waiver would allow fuel to come on the market with inadequate testing, inadequate misfueling controls and without a dedicated legacy fuel for use in those products for which E-15 was not approved,” said Kris Kiser, Executive Vice President of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

Growth Energy, the ethanol organization which filed for a waiver in March 2009 to allow up to 15 percent ethanol in gasoline, disagrees with the engine manufacturers. “Concerns about misfueling are premature, as EPA is drafting a robust labeling rule and will conduct a vigorous public education campaign, and we are confident that the process will be successful,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis.

The Renewable Fuels Association noted that EPA could avoid potential market confusion by simply allowing the use of E15 for all cars and light duty pickup trucks. “The only way to meet the nation’s energy, economic and environmental goals as put forth in the Renewable Fuels Standard is to increase ethanol consumption. Allowing for the use of E15 blends is a safe and appropriate step toward meeting these goals. The RFA will continue to press for the safe and effective use of higher level ethanol blends in both conventional as well as flexible fuel vehicles.”

Ethanol, Ethanol News, Growth Energy, RFA