Good news for those of us who drive cars built before 2007: despite the best efforts of the EPA (and the ethanol lobby), you won’t be finding E15 fuel at your local gas-and-go any time soon. The U.S. House voted 286 to 135 to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from allowing the distribution of E15 fuel. E15 fuel contains 15% ethanol, and there are concerns over the product’s effect on older fuel system components, as well as the fuel systems of outdoor power equipment. E10, which contains 10% ethanol, is safe for use in all types of vehicles and is widely available. Initially, E15 wasn’t even supposed to be used in pre-2007 vehicles, but the EPA granted a waiver to push back the date of manufacture to 2001. Industry organizations, including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and the Specialty Equipment Market Association urged Congress to block the resolution, claiming that insufficient research was done on E15’s effects, especially on engines used infrequently .
On the flip side, the Renewable Fuels Association (an ethanol industry trade group) was critical of the House’s vote. In a prepared statement, the group alleged, “The fact remains ethanol is a thoroughly tested, safe, and effective motor fuel. Americans spend nearly $1 billion a day importing oil, often from hostile regions of the world. The House has denied consumers choice in the type of fuel they use. Instead, they have chosen to continue giving oil companies a virtual monopoly over the fueling system.”
The only thing certain is that this isn’t over yet. You can expect the ethanol lobby to come back stronger the next time they push for E15 fuel.
Source: The Detroit News