Motorists and industry challenge EPAs new ethanol fuel standard

Motorists and industry challenge EPAs new ethanol fuel standard

The White House is now reviewing EPAs draft regulation for the 2014 renewable fuel standard, which must be released by the end of the month. The EPA and the White House have heard intense lobbying from all sides on how much ethanol should be required to be blended into gasoline. A leaked draft indicates that the EPA will likely roll back the ethanol requirement.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) is among those asking the administration to lower the ethanol requirement.

It is just not possible to blend the amount of ethanol required by current law given recent declines in fuel consumption, and it is time for public policy to acknowledge this reality, said Bob Darbelnet, president and CEO of AAA. The auto club warns that continuing the current requirement could raise gas prices and potentially damage cars, since most cars can only use E10 gasoline, with 10 percent ethanol.

An AAA survey last year found that only 12 million of the 240 million light-duty vehicles on the road were approved by manufacturers to use E15. Whats more, 13 manufacturers have said the use of E15 may void warranty coverage. AAAs engineering experts believe that sustained use of E15 could result in accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false check engine lights in some cars.

Late last week, 169 members of Congress sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy urging her to lower the ethanol requirement.

While well-intentioned, the federal ethanol mandate is inflicting significant economic harm on families by driving up food prices, on dairy farmers by driving up feed prices, and on homeowners and outdoorsmen by ruining small engines, said Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.).

Download Bulletin PDF