Here are the facts: currently, E15, the newly approved higher blend of ethanol (15 percent) in gasoline (85 percent), is only on sale at one fuel station in the U.S. That Kansas gas station, as we noted last week, requires buyers to purchase at lease four gallons of the fuel at a time, so as to prevent people filling up things like lawn equipment. Also, E15 has been called "probably the single most studied fuel in the history of EPA waivers," by Bob Dinneen, the CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association and the EPA says the fuel is safe for any Model Year 2001 vehicle or newer.

Nonetheless, the Kansas Petroleum Council is sounding the alarm, issuing a press release that says, "Kansas drivers should beware of new E15 fuel at gasoline pumps." KPC director Ken Peterson said in the statement that, "We need to press the pause button on EPA's rush to allow higher amounts of ethanol in our gasoline. The new fuel could lead to engine damage in more than 5 million vehicles on the road today and could void the manufacturer's warranty. ... EPA has an obligation to base this decision on science and not on a political agenda."

For those who like to consider the source, know that the Kansas Petroleum Council works with the American Petroleum Institute to represent "more than 500 oil and natural gas companies."
Show full PR text
Kansas drivers should beware of new E15 fuel at gasoline pumps

TOPEKA, Kansas, July 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new blend of motor vehicle fuel containing 15 percent ethanol – known as E15 – now available in Kansas could damage vehicle engines, the Kansas Petroleum Council warned consumers today.

"We need to press the pause button on EPA's rush to allow higher amounts of ethanol in our gasoline," said Ken Peterson, director of the Kansas Petroleum Council. "The new fuel could lead to engine damage in more than 5 million vehicles on the road today and could void the manufacturer's warranty."

Peterson explained that a three-year study conducted by the auto and oil industries determined that E15 can cause damage even though EPA has approved use of the new fuel for cars and light trucks model year 2001 and newer. In addition, automobile manufacturers have said that vehicle warranties will not cover damage due to E15.

"Our first priority should be protecting consumers and the investments they've made in their automobiles," said Peterson. "EPA has an obligation to base this decision on science and not on a political agenda."

He said that E15 could also damage boats, recreational vehicles, and lawn equipment and said consumers should follow the fueling recommendations in their owner's manuals and read all gasoline pump labels carefully before refueling.

The Kansas Petroleum Council is part of the American Petroleum Institute (API), which represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America's energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 2 Years Ago
      maybe the fires of hell are fueled by petroleum
        George Voll
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        If CO2 sequestering was in place then the fires of hell will be put out.
      George Voll
      • 2 Years Ago
      More Green jobs in the future, I mean "THE FUTURE IS NOW!!".
      Electron
      • 2 Years Ago
      Big Oil's war on ethanol continues. No way a bunch of farmers get to break in on their turf and get away with it. Wonder what they are so afraid of. I can think of several reasons: -the oil industry has it's own alternatives they like to push like LPG and CNG (neither of which is particularly good for your engine BTW), - E15 could lead to E85 which might increasingly become the cheaper alternative for the ever more marginal oil the oil industry is currently investing massive amounts of money in. -it gets pressure off the oil market which is bad for prices and therefore the record profits the industry is currently making. Whatever it is, I doubt genuine concern with the well being of your engine has anything to do with it.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Electron
        Electron I don't know why I bother to try to reason with fanatical oil company haters like you, especially on ABG, but here goes: The Petroleum Institute does have a genuine concern, because 85% of the Gasoline purchased by the motorist is a product of an Oil company. If the customer has a fight over warranty issues with his vehicles manufacturer, involving ethanol, it's BP, Chevron, Shell etc that the customer blames, not some farmer. (That's the name on the pump, and the service station.) Obviously oil companies are in business to sell, LPG etc. This isn't evil, it's a product. A proven product which Oil companies can supply to LPG equipped vehicles, and the manufacturers will honour warranties. (Arguing the merits of LPG,CNG etc, is a separate issue, but LPG has been the fuel of choice for all Australian taxis from nearly 40 years with no discernible complaints) The OIL companies would be incredibly negligent not to issue warnings. Oil companies, not the farmers, will be the ones receiving the lawsuits from disgruntled motorists. It might be more helpful if the be the EPA issued an indemnity from liability. " Big Oil" is not conducting a "war on Ethanol" ! On a Global scale, the Oil companies are the biggest private investors in Bio-fuel R&D and production. It might be popular in some quarters to equate Big Oil with every evil, but indulging in irrational hate sessions is pointless, and worse, it discredits environmentalists with Joe Public whose support is necessary to effect real change with genuine issues. I would rather fight to abolish really harmful Oil products, that can be replaced, than waste energy ranting about a 1000 lb Gorilla who knows nor gives a damn about your opinion !
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Marco mumbled "As for the idea of making less money selling less oil. That too is a fallacy. The oil company makes exactly the same profit from E-blends and non E-blends. It just put the same profit margin on top. " It is stunning how absolutely clueless you right wing pro-free market folks are at understanding how the free-market works!! The price for raw crude oil and refined gasoline is NOT set by oil companies calculating costs and putting a profit margin on top. The price of crude oil and refined gasoline is determined by bids submitted in open exchanges by speculators and petroleum purchasers. Oil companies can't just fix their price to add profits on top to adjust for products that they do not produce, because these products aren't sold on fixed prices! Oh, but don't bother with admiting you were completely wrong, or even bother to respond at all, since you absolutely have zero defense for being completely wrong.
          Electron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Marcopolo: I'll tell you why you predictably as clockwork " try to reason with fanatical oil company haters": it's what your paid to do by the PR agency you work for. Since every claim you are making about yourself on this forum is an obvious lie (for those who don't see that: the real rich, successful multiple EV owning, EV initiative financing movers and shakers of this world have other priorities in their lives than staking out this forum 24/7 attacking everybody criticizing corporate behaviour in general and that of oil interests in particular) , it's really one of the few explanationsfor your behaviour that makes sense. That or our you just obsessively identify with the rich and powerful of this world and use the fog of cyberspace to live a weird fantasy of being successful yourself rather than just another lonely troll. Guess that would mean that even powerful interest groups are worried about how opinions are shaping in that tricky two way information flow they don't control: cyberspace. Of course we knew that already: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/03/09/149408/koch-wikipedia-sock-puppet/?mobile=nc Guess those sock puppets are everywhere...
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Great points Marco. But I wonder, how much money would Oil Companies lose with the warranty claims for an unlucky few? Now, how much money would the Oil Companies lose, if suddenly every gallon of gasoline contained 5% of their product? I think that the devil they know (5% loss of profit right from the start), is a lot more worrisome than possible litigation and liability down the road that their well paid legal teams can probably handle. Although automakers can point the finger at the pump owners, the lawyers are very good at passing the buck. *How much of the Gulf cleanup did BP have to pay themselves?*
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Marco, you are once again wasting your pecks at the keyboard arguing with idiots. Keep this in mind; "If you argue with idiots, you'll start to sound like an idiot."
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Correction: "Now, how much money would the Oil Companies lose, if suddenly every gallon of gasoline contained 5% [LESS] of their product?"
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Correction: "Now, how much money would the Oil Companies lose, if suddenly every gallon of gasoline contained 5% [LESS] of their product?"
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Okay... if anyone ever thought I could not be persuaded with good argument... take notice. Although I never considered the Oil industry evil... I did think that they were more organized than they really are. But that is also a very common myth from government conspiracies (that the government can hide alien bodies for 60 years, but can't keep sex scandal secret for one week) So fair enough, the Oil companies can often be just as divided and fight amongst themselves for power and influence. I still think that overall, even with a very schizophrenic conglomerate Oil industry, they (any and all Oil company factions) can AND DO often invoke large sums of influence on government when the factions are in agreement. Even if it is not full agreement.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @ Joeviocoe Joe, people like PR, simply don't understand how the oil business works. The traded crude price of oil has only a marginal effect on the 'profit' component in retail pump price of oil. Oil companies may seem monolithic, (from the oil well to the retail pump) they are in fact very complex, segmented operations, with many of the segments competing in different areas. The price of gasoline may move up or down depending on the price of refined crude, but the actual profit of the retail operation is set by the retail gallon. By adding Ethanol, the oil companies retail operation is unaffected, since the volume remains the same. Gasoline and diesel produce very low profit margins for oil companies. (so low in fact many oil companies have retreated from the retail market) . The enormous cost of refining,transportation and distribution, is prohibitive and only vast volumes sustain the retail profitability. In most countries, taxation earns far more revenue for the government per gallon, than Oil companies profits. (I am a supporter of heavier taxes on the pump price of Gasoline and diesel, I also actively campaign to abolish the sale of Bunker Oil in shipping). Oil is an essential component of more than 3000 products, as diversified as medicine to ceramics. In fact the modern world couldn't have been created without oil. Wasting a finite resource as precious oil, simply as a transport fuel, is wasteful in the extreme. Some of the major Western oil companies are aware that as Petro-Chemicals are vastly more profitable fuel, burning oil for transport is tantamount to eventual economic suicide ! But, I digress ! If you buy a gallon of Ethanol from a Shell Service station, Shell doesn't subtract its profit from the 10% ethanol and give it to the agri-company ! As far as Shell's retail operation is concerned the price of blend generates the same profit. The refinery buys blended ethanol, and retails with the same profit margin. With a 45 cent per gallon subsidy, US 'blenders' have been doing very well out of E-fuel blends until recently. The potential loss to Oil companies comes at the refining stage. In theory, the more ethanol that's sold, the less demand for the Oil refinery product. The US refiners made a great fuss and received some very generous benefits. However, in fact the refiners only closed a few old, obsolete plants, as the demand for oil continued to exceed capacity, and international sales proved profitable ! People tend to think of fuel oil solely in terms of automotive gasoline. But there are more than 4 billion engines operating on the planet using an Oil product for energy. Including electricity generation. KPC's Ken Peterson is making as big a fuss as he can, to preserve as many subsidies as he can ! (Well, that's his job! ). The Open Fuel Standard Act of 2011, should negate his argument by requiring all auto-manufactures to warranty new vehicles (sold in the US) for flexi-fuel usage by 2018 !
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Joeviocoe Joe, I agree. Obviously large organizations do play a very powerful (sometimes too powerful) role in any modern democracy. For good or ill, they are a huge political force in national and international economies. It's no longer 1776 ! As the article says in many ways, the large corporations, especially Oil, affect people's (and nations) economic lives more than political parties or politicians. This doesn't mean they are any more ethical or wise than governments, but they do deserve to play a role in the economic decisions of the nation. But while it's important for decision makers not to believe without question studies commissioned by corporations or interest groups, it's also equally wrong to assume that such studies are completely without merit. Modern democracies need all voices to be heard. It's the governments duty to ensure that all opinions are considered.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Okay, I'm getting a better picture now. Thanks. So companies like Shell, BP, ExMo, etc.... still own and operate the the segments from the refinery, crude shipments, crude extraction, drilling, exploration... right? So although the segments forward of the refinery such as blending, distribution, and retail pumps... won't be affected since there is still a gallon fuel (regardless of changing from E10 to E15). But from the Refinery to the petroleum source, there will be 5% less demand across the board. I understand that lower demand might be desired for Oil companies in the short term since supplies are are more constrained. But... ... I seriously doubt they want Oil demand to remain that way in the future. Not unless they plan to own and operate the Agro-businesses that produce the Ethanol too. Which is possible if they decide to use a "squeeze and buy" strategy. Bottom line, I don't think the Oil companies mentioned control and profit enough from the blended ethanol to make up for the losses derived from the conventional petroleum gasoline supply chain. Also, I am all for warning labels and disclaimers... but irrational fear tactics (FUD) are not the same. And that seems to be what has been happening.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Ah Marco! You continue to crack me up! Why is it that you repeatedly make all the same claims about Big oil investing in Bio-fuel R&D as if they were just spending their own money? Big oil takes massive amounts of R&D grants, tax cuts, and other cash incentives from the gov't for biofuel research, and then they turn around and fight AGAINST the sale of the very biofuels they have been paid to research! Somebody smart would figure out the Oil Co's are acting as 1000 lb Gorillas who are abusing the system and gobbling up R&D tax dollars with the sole purpose of using their collective monopoly power to keep as much ethanol out of the system for as long as possible while they continue to make massive profits on oil. It is not some secret plot, or a question of good vs. evil at all. It is just companies doing everything at their disposal to maximize profit. I'm sorry you have believed too many oil company ads on TV to recognize this business decision they have made.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Also, "Only the oil companies would commission such a study. If published, it would be constructed to give maximum emphasis to the benefit of the oil companies !" Finally, some who understands my skepticism of the flood of studies that powerful industries commission.
          Marco Polo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Joeviocoe Joe, Both your points are valid. However your conclusion is a little distorted because you see Oil corporations as monoliths, with clear and cohesive policies throughout the organization. In fact different segments often have different objectives and even compete with one another ! The world oil market is very complex. This is true of all huge bureaucracies! In some regions different brands buy fuel from independent or even each others refineries. Some crude oil producers, are not involved in refining or retail, while some Oil companies are just retailers. Just because you are buying BP at the pump, doesn't mean that BP explored, drilled, refined the gasoline that you are putting in your tank ! The API represents over 500 oil companies. How many pump brands can you name ? You question, " Are their any "Independent" studies that have tried to calculate how much money Oil companies would lose on higher Ethanol blends? Or is it so obfuscated that only an insider can truly know?" Only the oil companies would commission such a study. If published, it would be constructed to give maximum emphasis to the benefit of the oil companies ! In fact, it's doubtful if even insiders would know accurately. In all probability, Oil companies may lose no money on Oil blending, and even find blending profitable ! As to your other question, Oil companies have two conflicting 'camps' on alternate energy. In the one camp are the 'make hay while the sun shines' veiw. These Oil executives believe that the oil industry should continue to maximize shareholder profits by increasing the efficiency of existing oil industry by investing in technology to reduce the cost of production of oi products. Another faction of Oil executives believe that Oil companies should be 'energy' companies and replace dying 'fuel' oil industry by expansion into other energy products. Like political parties, the factions jockey for power. This is reflected in the changing policies of Oil companies like Exxon, BP Chevron, Shell, etc. The rise of competing oil companies from the PRC and Russia, is also a factor. The "Energy Supplier" faction is responsible for Chevron becoming the world's largest investor in Geo-thermal, BP's 40 year involvement in Solar, and Royal Dutch Shells, vast investments in Bio-fuels. Ken Peterson of the Kansas Petroleum Council (and his FUD)is a pretty small frog, in the global structure of the Oil Industry !
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Okay Marco, but I'm still trying to understand your math. Are you saying that if 5% more of a gallon of gasoline is displaced by Ethanol, and the price of the gallon is held constant, the Oil companies don't lose money? But we do know that the Ethanol producer (agro businesses) are profiting from adding that 5% ethanol. So money is going to them, INSTEAD of the Oil company. Unless they are one and the same company, but they aren't.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Correction: Since only 45% of crude oil becomes Finished Motor Gasoline.... from the refinery to the oil well, it is only 5% extra loss of demand off of that 45%. So much less. http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/PET_PNP_PCT_DC_NUS_PCT_A.htm Are their any "Independent" studies that have tried to calculate how much money Oil companies would lose on higher Ethanol blends? Or is it so obfuscated that only an insider can truly know?
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Joeviocoe Joe, you are correct. Oil companies could easily defend any litigation, but their lawyers, quite rightly, will insist on disclaimers. Also although readers of ABG may hate Oil companies, the vast majority of the trust the major brands for product quality. No one likes brand loyalty damaged by an alien product forced on them by legislation. As for the idea of making less money selling less oil. That too is a fallacy. The oil company makes exactly the same profit from E-blends and non E-blends. It just put the same profit margin on top. The biggest error paranoid oil company haters make, is believing oil companies need to sell more oil ! Oil companies have long since ceased to worry about how to sell more gasoline (the least profitable of all oil products), but rather how to find enough to sell ! So far extraction technology has advanced faster than the rate of depletion, but that can't continue forever. The Major oil companies have been spending vast sums on post (economic) -Fuel oil production R&D. Some, like Chevron and Shell are the biggest players in alternative fuel industries. Shell is the largest and most successful R&D investor in Bio-fuels while Chevron dominates private investment in Geo-thermal. Shell in JVC with Virent/Cargil/ Honda has developed a bio-fuel process that can be produced in a regular oil refinery and used in existing Aircraft, road and shipping engines, without modification. The product can be stored for 3 years without any deterioration etc. The main problem is always the logistics and economics of feedstock. Otherwise the bio-fuel business model, is the most compatible of alternate fuels to fit with existing oil company infrastructure. The major Oil companies have already predicted supply problems arising in the second half of the century. That's why natural gas has become so important.
        Electron
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Electron
        @EVnerdGene : Guess your are swallowing "marcopolo's" BS line hook and sinker then. People are so easily fooled, even by complete strangers making all sort of impressive claims about themselves in the anonymity of cyberspace. About:"If you argue with idiots, you'll start to sound like an idiot."....you wouldn't notice but that ship sailed for "marcopolo" thousands of lengthy, petty, boring, agressive and abusive rantings ago.
        Marcopolo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Electron
        @ Electron and PR, You're just too weird and paranoid, to bother with a rational reply. EVnerdGene, is correct, it's a waste of time arguing with the deliberately ignorant.
          Electron
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marcopolo
          .....yet you will do it again and again either because you can't help yourself, or you are contractually obliged to do so.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      It says it right there: "American Petroleum Institute to represent "more than 500 oil and natural gas companies." -> They do not represent consumers, national security and the country. They are set up to protect their own interests, that's it.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Nick
        Nick, You are quite right, national security is the job of the US government. However, in this case the interests of the consumer coincides with the interest of the API. All trade organizations are funded to advance the best interests of members. That doesn't mean they are always right or wrong, it just provides members with a common voice on issues. The EPA, has it's share of conflicts of interest. Most people don't realize, but the EPA has a commercial division that sells technology to the people it regulates. If it doesn't sell enough commercial services, the regulator could face politically motivated budget cuts. The EPA needs reform, to separate the regulator from improper influence.
      nitrostreet
      • 2 Years Ago
      All politics aside, I think the main point that needs to be determined first is whether ethanol is actually bad for a motor or not. As someone who has raced cars for most of the last 30 years on both gas and ethanol I can say with a little experience that ethanol is safer for a motor than gas is, It runs cleaner which means less carbon deposits that promote detonation, it runs cooler than gas, it's higher octane, makes more HP, does anyone really think that if ethanol was harmful to a motor that many racers in all forms of motorsports would run their mega-buck engines on it?
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nitrostreet
        Racer in motorsports running alcohol have fuel systems designed for alcohol. They would be absolute morons if running uber expensive cars on alcohol if they were designed for gas. It is well documented that alcohol fuels will harm fuel systems not designed to handle them.
        EVnerdGene
        • 2 Years Ago
        @nitrostreet
        ethanol has more punch (octane), but less energy content. Racers want the power. They don't care about gas mileage. Look at the gas mileage of flex-fueled cars and trucks: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/PowerSearch.do?action=alts&year1=2012&year2=2013&vfuel=E85&srchtyp=newAfv Example: Ford Focus on gasoline: 40 MPG highway - - - - - - - - Ford Focus on E-85: 28 MPG highway then look at the yearly fuel costs of gasoline vs. E-85 -- - -- Then take into account the BILLIONS that ethanol has contributed to our national debt Take into account the increase in our grocery prices Take into account the petroleum products (mostly natural gas) in producing ethanol. I could give at least 6 more reasons that ethanol was dumb 30 years ago, and still is.
          nitrostreet
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EVnerdGene
          So what's your point? I wasn't pushing ethanol, only stating that it won't hurt your engine.
      lasertekk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Look, didn't we already know that a 10% blend could create some issues? Isn't it logical to conclude a 15% blend would create even more issues? Let the special interests argue with each other, my mind is already made up.
      Rob J
      • 2 Years Ago
      I hope people actually realize that it is not the farmers pushing ethanol, it's the major agriculture corporations who buy their corn. Being a farmer these days sucks, you are expected to grow a mono culture of corn and thanks to the way the federal farmers assistant program is set up, the only way to make any money is to sell your soul to monsento and grow as many bushels as you can regardless of price. I'm glad that 2nd gen ethanol production is on its way.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The study that API purchased so that they could make these statements shows some pretty interesting things that are not mentioned by them or by Ken Peterson. The biggest one is that more vehicles failed on E0 (gasoline w/o ethanol) than on E15. One would assume that if they are worried about the consumer that they will also put out a press release to stop using gasoline too. What a crock...
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      Manufacturers made the cars to run on 100% gasoline, they ajusted and calibrated all the components to run as specs and in the owner manual it's written gasoline 87 octans regular grade. So sell 100% gasoline only, the catalytic converter was made for 100% gasoline. It is true for cars and suv from any model years.
      JRBEINGINEER
      • 2 Years Ago
      “…requires buyers to … lease four gallons of the fuel at a time…” Amazing! I had no idea that it was possible to lease gasoline!
        JRBEINGINEER
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JRBEINGINEER
        The above was NOT a reply to Marco Polo's comment. It was just my own, stand-alone, inane remark.
      Joeviocoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      "...EPA has an obligation to base this decision on science and not on a political agenda" and "American Petroleum Institute to represent "more than 500 oil and natural gas companies." Funny, hypocritical, but funny. It looks like a fight between to powerful lobbies. Corn and Petroleum/Gas. Consumers stuck in the middle like Autobots vs. Decepticons. And people here still think that Lobbyists aren't fudging numbers to make their cases to Congress and that we should trust the "Studies" that are funded or commissioned by them.
        EVnerdGene
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        " "...EPA has an obligation to base this decision on science and not on a political agenda" " If that were the case; ethanol would never have been subsidized.
        Joeviocoe
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Joeviocoe
        "...a fight between [two] powerful lobbies..."
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          How does a self-corrected typo get down voted? Apparently I have a fan or two that goes around voting me down whenever I comment.
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