House subcommittee hearing raises possibility of forcing automakers to allow larger doses of ethanol
"If they're not willing to raise it voluntarily, we might mandate it. That idea alone was worth the trip out here," said Boucher, the subcommittee chairman.
Boucher told the committee there's a "popular assumption" of a technical limit at 10 percent; instead calling it an "artificial limit, opposed apparently in a negotiation between the auto manufacturers and the oil industry."
Boucher said he'll call scientists and automakers before a subcommittee hearing on ethanol blending later in the year. That's a showdown I'd like to hear. I wonder how older vehicles would handle increased amounts of ethanol. We know that automakers have to make special modifications to the fuel system to accept E85. Surely there's a possibility of long-term effects from fuels with blends up to 30 percent.
Testimony indicated corn-based ethanol could fulfill 10-percent requirements at about 15 billion gallons per year, which is called the "blend wall." The country would have to find other sources of ethanol to make up the difference.
[Source: Ben Shouse / Argus Leader]
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