• Nov 13, 2010
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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  • 44 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      I DID SOME CHECKING. ETHANOL WILL DAMAGE THE FUEL SYSTEMS IN PRE 2002 VEHICLES. IT WILL DETERIORATE THE RUBBER COMPONENTS. I SEE A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT COMING AGAINST THE "EPA"
      • 4 Years Ago
      We shouldn't be feeding our cattle corn anyway.
      • 4 Years Ago
      When are these idiots going to realize that the easiest answer to the numerous issues of using less oil and becoming more efficient is to simply raise the price of gas? I don't understand this "push" strategy that is rather convoluted.

      Raise gas prices and let the market decide how to conserve oil. Maybe the consumer will combine trips, buy a more efficient vehicle, or ride a bike to work. Maybe he will work from home.

      In the end, the we wind up paying for all of these "push" strategies anyway. If farmland is consumed with growing corn, what is expected to happen to the price of produce that is displaced?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Slapping a big tax on gasoline or oil would be economic suicide. Price inflation would be rampant, and the economy would be far less efficient and providing consumers goods at low prices. You don't wreck purchasing power (impoverish the middle and lower classes) so you can convert the auto fleet to more efficient vehicles. That's what they do in Europe. It has gutted the middle class (same with VAT).

        CAFE is the problem. It's too easy to game the system and it's not weighted by sales volume. The fuel-efficiency mandate should be per vehicle with a system of subsidy and tax that applies to each car. It's far from perfect, but it's better than hybrid/electric subsidies and CAFE standards, imo.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Isn't the trend that the more fuel/oil we save the higher the prices will get? Oil companies will want to keep the their profits at record level no matter what.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What happened when people stopped flying after 9/11? Airfares were super low. I think I bought my parents a RT ticket for less than $100 where it is normally $250 - $300.

        I would think oil prices would drop to entice the public to purchase more. It is all supply/demand driven, right? High supply/low demand would drop oil prices.

        If we raise gas prices (and perhaps diesel needs to be kept a bit cheaper to make it somewhat less impacting on the commercial sector as well as to drive clean diesel), it creates a situation where the public demands alternatives like hybrids or electric vehicles. Pushing these technologies typically doesn't work long term.

        Just look at what most people in Europe drive versus us. Obviously high fuel prices drive behavior that will encourage smarter decisions by making fuel consumption a critical factor. We'll move to "right sized" vehicles. We'll live closer to work. We'll avoid needless trips.

        Yes, consumer goods that rely on shipping might become more expensive. But doesn't that also improve the situation by forcing us as consumers to make smarter decisions about what we buy? Perhaps we will buy more local products instead of stuff made in China. Perhaps we'll hold on to our TVs longer?

        The bottom line is we need to empower the market, not the government, on how to best improve efficiencies. And meeting those efficiencies might be different for everyone.

        • 4 Years Ago
        Your nuts too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I DID SOME CHECKING. ETHANOL WILL DAMAGE THE FUEL SYSTEMS IN PRE 2002 VEHICLES. IT WILL DETERIORATE THE RUBBER COMPONENTS. I SEE A CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT COMING AGAINST THE "EPA"
      • 4 Years Ago
      Now all of the original BMW 335is and 135is are screwed.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ha, those cars are already screwed, aren't they? I heard they haven't fixed the high pressure fuel pump, and now there's some other big problem with them too.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Say no to E15 its a scam! Here to hoping they win the law suit!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sweet. More cancer for my tank.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Grow food, NOT fuel.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ethanol is made from a by-product of feed corn. It's not made from sweet corn (food). It's made from feed corn. Let's me emphasize the "by-product" part. This means no (feed) corn is grown for the purpose of producing ethanol. The necessary elements are extracted to produce ethanol and the remainder is feed to animals as it would be otherwise. Also, keep in mind that the elements extracted would simply be passed as waste by the animal.

        This is an exceptionally good use of a resource. The "food, not fuel" people need to take the time to understand how ethanol is really made.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have heard that in Missouri, the 91+ octanes have no ethanol.

      I hate that we subsidize obesity, sloth and poverty. The people unable to afford REAL food are stuck being unhealthy and staying poor. They get obese on the high-calorie, low nutrition food kept at artificially low prices.

      The old cars are destroyed to force people to buy newer models.

      The farmland is pillaged for unnecessary crop growth.

      The water tables continue to drop. We weathered this financial recession, but as we continue to waste our water we will eventually get another Dust Bowl.

      Of course, then the poor who can only afford cheap, corn-based foods will just starve to death. That will solve the obesity epidemic...
        • 4 Years Ago
        But hey, we get to keep $3/gal gas for a bit longer
        Problem solved :P
      • 4 Years Ago
      Unreal how many end-all-be-all experts there are here about how ethanol is the worst thing in the world. Hype and hysteria are rampant around here.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Okay.. So what's the real reason for suing the EPA
        • 4 Years Ago
        If memory serves (it might badly here).
        The farmers who grow corn are left with two choice's grow corn meant for consumption or grow corn meant for ethanol production. Corn meant for ethanol production apparently pays out more than that meant for general consumption. Sadly as a side effect of this is also the fact that corn meant for ethanol production is taken away from "feed" for live stock of other farmers. This in turns cause's what is left to be priced higher since there is more of a demand for it. There are other details which I forget but it gets more complicated and well anyone would get annoyed by it.

        Personally I'm against E10 and more so for E15. The reasoning behind it and knee jerk reaction in the way its being implemented are just wrong. Plus from what I've been hearing from a few friends of mine there are other types of ethanol out there that are less dangerous to our older cars that the EPA apparently seems content to ignore and hence hold off on implementing those instead.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Somebody should make a new viral video called "The Ethanol Content in Gas is Too Damn High."
        • 4 Years Ago
        They are opposed to the use in fuel b/c it raises the cost of feed and other corn based products. And since they can't sue b/c of that they went with this.
        • 4 Years Ago
        From 1995 to 2009 we, as tax payers, paid $76 Billion in subsidies for corn.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ^--- you may be right on the money.

        As soon as we mandated e10 in the mid 2000's, curiously, corn prices shot out the freaking roof. Corn is 3x the price ( and rising ) it was in 2005.

        This brings up the cost of meat, and all sorts of other things. You'd be amazed at what's linked to the price of corn.

        I think this decision will cause food supply problems.
        The sad part is that we will trade continued $3/gallon for higher food prices.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The idea that ethanol take corn away from other needs is a myth that needs to die.

        Ethanol is made from a BY PRODUCT of feed corn. The feed corn is grown anyway. No corn is grown for the sole purpose of producing ethanol. As such, the land, water, fertilizer, etc is all been expended anyway.

        Extracting the feed corn by product to make Ethanol is an extremely good use of resources. Again, no corn is grown for the sole purpose of producing ethanol.

        Don't get me wrong. I don't believe Ethanol is a viable long term strategy. I do believe it's an excellent short term strategy to reduce our dependence on foreign oi.
        loosewheel26
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am completely apposed to ethanol use, sure it burns cleaner than petroleum but most cars get worse mileage using it. Its also caused the prices of corn and food products to sky rocket.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they don't like the money they make growing corn without the stupid ethanol crutch, then I have a wild and crazy idea: GROW SOMETHING ELSE.
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