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Last October, the EPA proposed a new warning label for E15 (a fuel made up of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) to be used on pumps that dispense the newly-approved biofuel. It's a bright orange label with "CAUTION" in capitalized letter emblazoned across the top and looks like a serious warning. The thing is, the ethanol industry doesn't really like it. It's so, warning-y.

In response, the industry has proposed a light blue label that calls out "ATTENTION" instead and also has softer wording about how dangerous E15 is or might be in your vehicle. Instead of "Use only in: 2007 and newer gasoline cars, 2007 and newer light duty trucks, flex-fuel vehicles. This fuel might damage other vehicles. Federal law prohibits its use in other vehicles and engines," the new labels says, "Approved for use only in 2007 and newer cars and light-duty trucks and flex fuel vehicles. Federal law prohibits use in other vehicles, non-road engines and equipment." Note the missing bold warning, among other changes.

According to the Des Moines Register, the ethanol industry group Growth Energy says the softer, gentler label "appropriately informs consumers. ... This design provides all information necessary for consumers to make an informed fuel choice and does not inappropriately impact marketplace perceptions of the fuel."

This is just the latest in a long line of challenges and lawsuits to the EPA's E15 push. Read more on that here.

[Source: Des Moines Register]


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  • 22 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      FREE CHOICE.

      have an E85 pump (with an un-subsidized price)

      connected to the E0 (zero ethanol pump)

      I can get zero. You can get 5,10,15, 50, or 85. Whatever you want.


      The ethanol industry could then operate as a real business, with commercials on TV, to try and convince me that I want E-whatever.

      God, I miss America - before the nut-jobs and fascists took over.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Then why are you against gas stations CHOOSING to have E15 pumps?

        The E15 is an option, not a mandate. No gas station will be required to have any E15 pumps under this regulation.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ethonol has had a long enough period of subsidy & mandates. Now it is time for them to stand on their own feet than suck money from all tax payers.

      End the subsidy & mandates and let them compete in the marketplace. If someone wants to buy 10% or 15% (or more) let them. Why force ethonol down all our throats ?

      Ethonol doesn't serve anyone's interest but that of corn farmers. It is harmful to the environment. Why subsidize it ? Same for oil.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The ethanol industry received almost $4 billion a year in annual subsidies between 2005-2009.

        To put that in perspective, the Bush administration allocated $1.5 billion to subsidize the development of FCVs - over a 10 year period between 2003-2013.

        President Obama subsidized advanced battery manufacturing with around $2 billion.

        Ethanol has received 10x the federal funding of FCVs and 8x that of battery manufacturing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Better yet, simply ban the stuff. Or at least, taper it back to an E5 (5%) maximum allowable by law...

        Ethanol has no advantages over gas in the US.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Carnie: I see nothing wrong with destroying the ethanol "industry". They are destroying food crops to create a fuel additive which is less energy efficient and more costly than the fuel it replaces. From a green standpoint, US corn-based ethanol is more an abomination than importing oil.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There is no free market in fuel. OPEC controls the supply and sets the price. Publicly declaring that we will not defend ethanol is just inviting OPEC to flood the market, crash the price of gasoline, destroy the ethanol industry, and then jack prices right back up again.

        That's what they did to the synfuels industry in the 80s.

        Secondly, it doesn't matter how great a fuel is if CARS CAN'T USE IT. If you have a PC, someone can tell you all day how great iWork or Things or Garageband are, but you're not going to buy them, are you? Acting like ethanol is a "failure" and that drivers have rejected it WHEN THEY CAN'T USE IT is nonsense.

        Furthermore, a strong case can be made that the reason gasoline won out over ethanol was not free market choice, but government intervention. Alcohol and gasoline were duking it out in the early days of the automobile. The Model T, for example, by far the most dominant car, could run on either. Rural people brewed their own ethanol to run in their cars; gasoline was confined to urban areas. Was it really a coincidence that oil magnate John D. Rockefeller poured money into the anti-alcohol movement, shifting its emphasis from temperance to prohibition, getting prohibition through, and sending federal agents on still-smashing rampages? The years of the 18th Amendment being in force were precisely the years of the explosive growth of the auto industry, and by the time it was repealed the standard was set.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Diesel owners screw up and put gasoline in their cars all the time. It costs hundreds, even thousands to fix.

      No gas station has ever been forced to pay. Why would that change for E15?

      But your paranoia is EXACTLY why a big red or yellow warning sign is inappropriate. Mistakenly filling up your car with E15 instead of E10 at a pump you aren't familar with won't damage pre-2007 cars. The last thing we need is a bunch of idiots crying about how they accidentally filled up their car once with E15, and how the world is now going to end.

      If you fill a diesel with gas, it can cause serious damage and has to be drained immediately. Yet there is no big yellow sticker saying "DANGER! DANGER! Gas can damage your vehicle!", even though you need to immediately drain and clean your tank to prevent REAL damage.

      If you fill a pre-2007 car with E15 on accident because you were too lazy to read, the solution is to keep driving on the tank until you need to fill up again. Then choose E10 for your next tank if you feel the risk is just way too big for your tastes.


        • 4 Years Ago
        blkrain,

        The only person here that seems overly litigious is you. Go ahead and sue if you feel like it.

        What are your damages? Prove them.

        Filling up your pre-2007 car with E15 at one gas station isn't going to do jack-shit to your car. What exactly do you think you are going to sue for?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Excellent points.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Oh really? In this litigious and lazy society in the US, where every little point is debated, and cause and effect are thrown out the window, you think some idiot won't try to sue?

        That's why I added the McDonalds suit as a reference in my post. I found that to be so stupid, I was at a loss for words! Even if it doesn't end up being won, it ties up the court system with more frivilous suits, not to mention the money spent on lawyer fees.

        I always pay attention when I am filling up, mostly to the price, but am always amazed at the warning stickers all over the gas pumps. But, as always, I look over and see some idiot smoking while filling up, and imagine the wrongful death suit that will be filed by the family when he/she blows themselves up.

        I merely would like to have a good warning sticker on the pump to TRY to stop these people from getting paid for stupidity. The understated proposed one is just not enough. Too many times, the innocent pay for dumb peoples mistakes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      what utter B.S. !!

      There are plenty of cars on the road which predate 2007, and people don't stop to read every little sign on things.
      If it is bad for your car then at the very least a large and important looking 'emergency' type sticker should be the route taken.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They especially don't look if it's a blue sign. Yellow/Red signs make you pay attention to them. Blue signs can be ignored. This one shouldn't be.
      Kelly
      • 4 Years Ago
      So much political hogwash.
      E85 additives? nope.
      E15 DOE testing? fixed
      E15 ethanol industry testing? reams of paper, none of it useful
      E15 auto and oil industry testing? Ignored
      E15 DOE infrastructure Testing? 70% failures
      Ethanol failed in the 20's? yup, darned consumer choice.
      OPEC scary? sure, but not as scary as our own failure to tap off shore resources
      Like your car? Use the fuel it was designed for.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The subsidies for Ethanol should end the exact second after every single gas and oil subsidy ends. Not a single second sooner. That's the only way to level the playing field.
      • 4 Years Ago
      If I were a retailer/reseller, I would fight this change tooth and nail! These lawsuits against the EPA are going to be nothing compared to the suits the retailers will have when people don't see that blue sign! Customers need a big red sign to warn them, especially in the beginning of distribution of a new blend.

      Anyone remember the hot coffee on the crotch lawsuit against McDonalds? They said the cup wasn't properly labeled for the hogh temp of the coffee. I can see it now, "I didn't know I was putting the wrong fuel in my '98 car. They should have labeled it better. Now give me 12 million!"

      Dumb, dumb change!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wrong. This will eventually be a mandate just like E10 was mandated.

      I haven't seen a gas pump without the E10 sign on it for ? years.
      (there is one station in my county that sell NO Ethanol gas at 30cents more per gallon and says that it costs more because he has it shipped-in from out of state)

      You can have your E15 pumps and even E85 pumps, if I can have my 100% gasoline pumps (no fillers, no BS).
      • 4 Years Ago
      "This design provides all information necessary for consumers to make an informed fuel choice"

      No it doesn't. It doesn't say why. The new label implies that if you use it for other than "approved" engines you are violating federal law and might get fined. The old label makes it clear that this fuel is not suitable for other engines and will probably damage them.

      Stupid change.
      • 4 Years Ago
      so they admit it f's up our engines
      -
      over time it will f'up every engine. It's corrosive stuff.
        • 4 Years Ago
        uncle sam --

        That's the anti-corrosive additives in the E85 doing their job. The know-nothings always forget that these additives exist and talk about Pure Ethanol as if E85 doesn't contain additives.

        Pure Gasoline without detergent additives and lubricity modifiers will also destroy engines. But thankfully all our engines don't get destroyed by pure gasoline because the additives are mandated by federal law.

        /s
        But OMG!! we can't have the "gubberment" regulatin' nuthin' or it'll destroy 'R freedumbs!
        /s
        • 4 Years Ago
        WRONG!
        Ethanol is not corrosive.

        I used it (E30-E70) in the following cars.
        1995 VW Passat
        1992 VW Jetta/Vento
        2000 Ford Fiesta
        1994 Toyota Corolla
        2004 Toyota Prius
        1998 VW Golf TDI (I blended Biodiesel, Veg.Oil and Ethanol, worked as a charme)
        Mercedes E320
        Audis, etc.

        My friend took the engine of the Merc apart. NO CORROSION. Although it had an aluminium engine.
        Oh This stupid FUD.

        FUD FUD FUD FUD FUD FUD FUD.

        Federal law prohibits use in older vehicles. HAHAHAHAHAHA.
        Ridiculous. My prius runs much better on E70 than on pure gas.

        Gas sucks. Gas stinks, gas does not burns creating soot (yellow flame)
        Ethanol burns colorless, no soot no additives.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Quick test: When you saw the picture in the article which one caught your attention first? That's why the EPA warning is better.

      Also, the "big-ethanol" one doesn't actually say why the warning label is there. If something is just prohibited, people will do it anyway. They have to know it might wreck their engine.
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