"If they're not willing to raise it voluntarily, we might mandate it. That idea alone was worth the trip out here," said Boucher, the subcommittee chairman.
Boucher told the committee there's a "popular assumption" of a technical limit at 10 percent; instead calling it an "artificial limit, opposed apparently in a negotiation between the auto manufacturers and the oil industry."
Boucher said he'll call scientists and automakers before a subcommittee hearing on ethanol blending later in the year. That's a showdown I'd like to hear. I wonder how older vehicles would handle increased amounts of ethanol. We know that automakers have to make special modifications to the fuel system to accept E85. Surely there's a possibility of long-term effects from fuels with blends up to 30 percent.
Testimony indicated corn-based ethanol could fulfill 10-percent requirements at about 15 billion gallons per year, which is called the "blend wall." The country would have to find other sources of ethanol to make up the difference.
[Source: Ben Shouse / Argus Leader]