• Feb 22, 2011
According to The Detroit News, the U.S. House of Representatives has voted to block the Environmental Protection Agency from moving toward a higher blend of ethanol in America's gasoline. Representatives voted 286-135 against allowing the EPA to issue a waiver that would allow gas stations to sell E15. Currently, fueling stations are only allowed to sell E10, which contains up to 10 percent of the biofuel. The new legislation would allow a 50-percent increase in the amount of ethanol sold in each gallon of gasoline. Representative John Sullivan (R-Oklahoma) attached an amendment to the bill to provide funding for the U.S. government through September, effectively killing the legislation.
While The Renewable Fuels Association criticized the decision to stop the E15 waiver, several groups were thoroughly against the increase in ethanol. Those include everyone from the Specialty Equipment Market Association to the American Bakers Association.

The EPA has already approved E15 for vehicles made after 2001, but some groups worry that a higher blend across the board could wind up corroding older engines. Meanwhile, proponents of the increase claim that larger ethanol quantities will help lower America's dependence on foreign oil.

[Source: The Detroit News]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 56 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      The biggest problems with Ethanol is, 1) the corn industry, and the fact of how its produced here in the US, and 2) the pro electric and hydrogen crowd spreading mistruths about Ethanol while trying to prop up their own pipe dreams.

      In terms of real life alternative solutions to gasoline that can be implemented within the next 10 years, Ethanol has the best chance. Hydrogen takes far more engery to produce than Ethanol, and there isnt any battery technology on the horizon which will make an electric car a valid replacement for the ICE car yet (ie needs to be able to go at least 300 miles on a charge and recharge in 10 minutes).

      Unitl someone in congress and/or the President grows some balls, does some actual research, we're all screwed and at the mercy of oil speculation.
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's up to manufacturers to what fuel can be used in a car, not the EPA.

      Corn isn't fuel or sugar, stop trying to make it everything.
        • 3 Years Ago
        hey - stop trying to blow my scheme to sell corn-puters, corn pants, and the corn-ercize home gym. With another couple of billion dollars of federal funding, my corn-based mobile phone service is only 200 years from completion.
        • 3 Years Ago
        rllama.. U so corny...

        (I'll just "Booooooo" myself to save everyone the trouble.)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @High Climber It's not a requirement though, it's just what's legal to sell. It doesn't mean the manufactures have to allow its use in any given vehicle. And the problem is the EPA says it can be used in cars as old as 2001 models. Seriously, have they evaluated every model of car and power train sold since then to know it won't cause damage or are they just assuming it's okay?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ethanol is such a cram.
      I'm grad its been stopped at 10%.
        • 3 Years Ago
        with the ever increase push for higher MPG; adding more ethanol would of been a step backwards due to reducing the MPG figures...
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Denis

        Natural Gas isn't much of a solution (at least in terms of cars). Yeah, we have it here in the US and I believe its at least a little cleaner than oil, but you are still stuck with a finite fuel source but are still burdened with all the massive infrastructure expenses that would be needed to make it a viable option. It ultimately makes little sense to spend years (more like decades) switching over to NG only to then switch to something else later when NG supplies start to wane.

        EV is the only solution that separates the source of the power from how it is used... you can make electricity a million different ways and an EV doesn't care which one is used - a power outlet is still a power outlet. If we find out in 20 years that we can make electricity from fairy dust and unicorn kisses, then so be it, but none of the EVs on the road, nor the way its distributed would change.
        • 3 Years Ago
        E15 has its benefits. There will probably be a time in the short term future when it makes sense to make the shift, but not now. Although we are not totally reliant on Middle East oil, we purchase a lot from the region. With its instability, that energy source can be cut off any day, at moment's notice. The flexibility to use more ethanol could prove beneficial if (when) that happens.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz

        +1 for the fairy dust and unicorn kisses.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I wouldn't mind Ethanol if they didn't give me less gasoline (and therefore less fuel efficiency/MPG's) for THE SAME PRICE. Jacking up the amount of Ethanol and keeping the price the same, while reducing how far the gas will take me makes me a) hate Ethanol as a practice, and b) laugh hysterically that E15 was blocked.
        • 3 Years Ago
        There are no benefits to ethanol that simply increasing efficiency wouldn't solve. Bumping the CAFE by a measly 10% does WAY more for reducing our imported oil amount than using 10% ethanol.

        Also ethanol is a zero-sum solution because it takes more energy to grow the plants and ultimately turn them into ethanol than it gives up as a fuel.

        And lets not forget that ethanol increases food prices.

        About the only positive with ethanol is that it has raised the price of corn enough that some of these food companies have *GOSH* moved back to using real sugar in some of their products as opposed to that crap called High Fructose Corn Syrup.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Where are the advocates for natural gas? It is here, there is lots of it and still silence or "where is hydrogen?" Doesn't make sense.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Corn is a scam! We, as taxpayers, pay out an average of $5,000,000,000 in corn subsidies annually, and what do we get in return? Inferior ethanol, food our bodies can't digest properly and pesticide in the groundwater to name a few.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I had a first hand experience with high Ethanol gases in Brazil 6 months ago! It gets consumed quicker than gas and costs just a little less than regular unleaded! Not good enough! Bring on the Hydrogen cars!

        • 3 Years Ago
        thank god they stopped this
        they shoudl lower the E10 to 0 if they can

        burning ethanol in a combustion engine produces aldehydes (like formaldehyde and such) which are know carcinogens

        all we need is more of this crap in the air
        and for those environmental groups, phuleeeasseee! get back to finishing high school first and learn about combustion of ethanol and other alcohols then talk about adding more of this crap to gasoline



      • 3 Years Ago
      I tested blends from E30 to E70 in 20 year old cars.
      NO engine was damaged. Ethanol is a good fuel, it burnes clean and decreases the dependency on foreign oil.

      I even put it in my tdi to blend biodiesel and vegetable oil
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3RSkYHVd6s (german)

      BUT before you start hating me.
      Making Ethanol out of corn is NONSENSE.
      Sweden makes ethanol out of wood waste.

      America could easily use switchgrass, hemp, sugar cane, wood waste or agricultural waste to make ethanol. THAT would make sense.

      Oh and by the way. E10 is standard in the us as we know. E10 is new in germany.
      and guess what the biggest auto association claims.
      E10 will immediately destroy your engine after only one fill up.

      I hate this FUD!
        • 3 Years Ago
        Points for the Chef Excellence avatar, but I'd be interested in how long term your testing was there. A tank or two isn't the same thing as running on a fuel a car isn't designed for for 5 years.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I am using E85 since 8 years.
        I dismantled the alumnium engine of a benz with a friend and trained mechanic.
        There was no corrosion... the benz had an steel tank and fuel lines.
        they were not fouled.

        @ehisforadam
        No not a tank or two. I mean a long term test.
        You can also find it on the german motor-talk forum.
        Since 7 years we are testing there Ethanol even in 2 stroke engines like old motor bikes and old carburated VW golfs.

        @KDAWG
        Ethanol is not corrosive since it is not an acid. You can drink a godd ol Whiskey without can't you.

        Now go on and hate me.
        thanks.

        • 3 Years Ago
        Ethanol doesn't pose a threat to your engine internals, its the fuel system that is damaged. Ethanol is highly corrosive and will rust away fuel lines, rails, and the insides of carburetors that were not designed for the fuel.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Maybe we should coat the inside of our fuel system with Chef Excellence Brand Fuel System Liners (TM).

        That should keep everything fresh.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ethanol is at best a limited resource and taking it up to 15% just makes a bad situation worse. There are other better renewables out there and I certainly think that energy conservation/efficiency is a cheaper and smarter way to lower oil dependancy.

      Even with all of the USA covered in corn fields it could only cover a small portion of energy needs.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Good.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Phew. Thank you, Mr. Sullivan. Trading higher food costs for a short-term cost reduction in fuel? No thanks. I can stop driving, but if I stop eating... Well, you know.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Currently, fueling stations are only allowed to sell E10, which contains up to 10 percent of the biofuel."

      I thought they were forced to sell E10 in some states. I don't have a choice here, and I would pay more for ZERO E10 in my fuel.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yes, some states do mandate E10. Minnesota is one example.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Hear, hear.
        • 3 Years Ago
        No states are required to have E10...it's the oil producers and refiners that are mandated by the federal government to have a certain percentage of what they produce be a renewable fuel source.

        In order for the oil producers to meet the mandate at a 10% blend you are going to see E10 be the standard gasoline blend at the pump in almost every market.
      • 3 Years Ago
      its about time. I want the 10% out still. We don't think much of the price of commodities here. but in the poorest areas of the world it makes a huge difference in the ability to feed themselves and there families. its a real issue and i am not the "green" type at all, but burning food for fuel is not cool at all because of the price manipulations from supply and demand.

        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dan

        Corn is used to feed many livestock. Corn prices skyrocket, so do feed prices for said livestock. Wholesale prices of beef and chicken have skyrocketed in the last four years (double and triple). Increased corn prices also result in less production and thus higher prices of other products, such as soybean (vegetable oil), sugar and wheat (flour).

        Food for fuel is a STUPID idea.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Well you can take comfort in knowing that Corn has very little nutritional value. It really just passes right through you.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ Thipps

        You don't have to be the 'green' type to know your fellow humans are starving. It happened in Mexico and Central America last year--clearly our fuel corn policy was responsible.
      • 3 Years Ago
      E10 gets less miles per gallon than pure gas. It also destroys motors built before 2006. It eats gas lines and gaskets and rubber products could cause fuel fires. We need to spend money on somethig that works and not suporting corn prices.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ethanol does nothing to help the issue of foreign oil dependence. It's pretty widely known that Ethanol actually brings fuel efficiency DOWN compared to straight gasoline.

      The only way that you can reach an equilibrium is to grow vast quantities for use as a fuel, thus bringing prices of the fuel down to a level where it makes it viable for use as a fuel. As it sits, I'd rather have "pure" gasoline so that my car makes more power, and also increases it's fuel efficiency (what little it has already).
        • 3 Years Ago
        "It's pretty widely known that Ethanol actually brings fuel efficiency DOWN compared to straight gasoline."

        ...in a car designed to run on gasoline. Let's be clear about that. I'm not saying ethanol is a great fuel, especially because we use food to create it as opposed to waste product, but you're measuring the efficiency of a gas engine running on something other than gas. The efficiency (in the loosest definition of the word) of my '76 International Scout went down when I had to switch from leaded gas to unleaded gas. Does that make unleaded gas a less efficient fuel? No. It means my truck was built to run on leaded fuel. If ethanol were mandated, manufacturers could potentially build a car that is designed to run more efficiently on it. As things are now, cars have to be able to maybe, possibly, occasionally run on the stuff. If you can't count on it being there, you can't build to it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Maybe if they want to foot the bill on the engine rebuild
    • Load More Comments