California Emissions Study Moves Toward E15 Approval

Cindy Zimmerman

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) Friday released the results of a multi-year study of the emissions impacts of 15 percent ethanol blended fuel (E15). California is currently is one of only two states that does not allow sales of E15.

The results of the study show that, compared to E10, E15 reduces emissions of most pollutants that contribute to ozone formation. The report also shows E15 significantly reduces emissions of particulate matter, which is another key ingredient in “smog.” The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of California-Riverside, was supported by the Renewable Fuels Association, California Air Resources Board (CARB), U.S. Council for Automotive Research, National Corn Growers Association, and Growth Energy.

“The results of this study clearly demonstrate that E15 cuts emissions of the nasty tailpipe pollutants that contribute to dirty air and cause respiratory illnesses and other serious health concerns,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “In addition to reducing the potential for smog, E15 also cuts greenhouse gas emissions, displaces petroleum, lowers consumer pump prices, and supports renewable energy jobs in California and across the country. The benefits of E15 to the Golden State are compelling and obvious, and we encourage CARB and the Environmental Policy Council to move swiftly to approve the fuel. Now more than ever, California consumers want and need the option to choose lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 at the pump.”

The comprehensive review of the impacts of E15 is in its third year and is expected to take “at least another full year to complete.” Once the full review is complete, CARB and other agencies will make a recommendation to the state’s Environmental Policy Council, followed by the adoption of regulatory amendments allowing E15 use in California.

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