Oil Industry Attacks on E15 Inappropriate

Joanna Schroeder

The ethanol industry is calling recent attacks by the oil industry regarding the use of E15 inappropriate and unreasonable. The latest in an ongoing battle between Big Oil and Little Ethanol occurred when the American Petroleum Institute (API) issued a “warning” to drivers in Kansas to not use E15 being sold at a Zarco 66 station in Lawrence, Kansas. In its first full day of sales, the Zarco 66 station reported E15 sales were 16% of its total unleaded gasoline sales.

Earlier this year, API released a study claiming that the use of E15 in non flex-fuel vehicles was harmful. Ironically, the study also discovered that the use of “straight” gasoline was also harmful to the same vehicles. The study brought the U.S. Department of Energy into the fray when the organization issued a rebuke and reiterated that E15 is the most studied fuel to date with more than 6 million miles of testing with E15 proving no problems in cars or light duty trucks manufactured in 2001 or later.

“If you take the argument of API and other biofuel critics to its logical conclusion, based on the study they cite, they should be warning Americans against using so-‘called ‘clear gasoline’ as well given that vehicles failed in their limited testing on that fuel also,” said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen.

He continued, “Of course, that would be unrealistic to expect from the nation’s refiners. Equally unrealistic is the smear campaign and fear mongering that is going on surrounding the introduction of E15 into the market. The fact remains that E15 has been the most thoroughly tested fuel in American history and ethanol has been a safe and effective fuel component in wide use for more than three decades. It’s time to move past the nonsense and constructively work to bring Americans the choice at the pump they want and deserve. Such a choice is beginning in Lawrence with E15.”

blends, Ethanol, Oil, RFA