Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of E15, a 15-percent ethanol and 85-percent gasoline blend, in vehicles from model year 2007 and newer. Now, nine food and farm groups, along with the American Petroleum Institute, are suing the EPA over this decision. According to the two lawsuits filed, the use of E15 in cars, SUVs and light trucks violates the Clean Air Act. API's Bob Greco says testing on the safety of E15 being conducted by Department of Energy and automakers is not yet complete, therefore the ruling "puts consumers at risk." EPA Deputy Press Secretary Betsaida Alcantara tells Green Car Advisor:
[The] decision was based on strict adherence to the Clean Air Act and was grounded firmly in science. The agency relied on rigorous testing that the Energy Department did on 19 car models, in consultation with automakers and fuel suppliers. This decision is sound, and the agency is confident that it will withstand legal challenge.
Results of studies conducted by the DOE on whether the new blend will be approved for use in 2001 through 2006 model year vehicles are expected later this month. Also opposed to the change from E10 to E15 are major motorcycle, auto and gasoline-powered off-road vehicle manufacturers who are worried that the additional ethanol may cause damage to parts made from plastic, rubber and metal in fuel systems in older vehicles, as well as in engines not made for ethanol use.

[Source: Edmunds | Image: drewzhrodague – C.C. License 2.0]

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