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NACS Newsletter Washington Report: U.S. Senators Seek to Limit Ethanol in Gasoline


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Stupidity is alive and well in the U.S. Congress

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​WASHINGTON, DC - February 18, 2013: NACSONLINE today reported that U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation last week that seeks to block an increase in the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline.

The bill would overturn Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) waivers that allowed gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15) to be used for many passenger cars and light trucks. It would also prohibit the EPA administrator from granting any waiver for a blend above 10% ethanol and would repeal the previous waivers.

“EPA’s flawed waivers allowing E15 amount to government bureaucrats issuing short-sighted regulations that negatively impact families and businesses across the country,” said Wicker, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “The concerns surrounding E15 that existed prior to the waivers have increased instead of diminishing.”

“Whether you drive a car, truck, boat, or tractor, misfueling with E15 could result in engine failure, increased emissions, and the voiding of warranty coverage,” said Vitter. “It is irresponsible for EPA to allow E15 without sufficient testing and technical analysis. I support an all-inclusive energy strategy, but experimenting before understanding the consequences and potential cost of using E15 is unfair to consumers.”

In November 2012, AAA urged the Obama administration to halt the sale of E15 because of possible engine damage. AAA said it found in a survey a strong likelihood of consumer confusion and the potential for voided warranties and vehicle damage.

Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), spoke out against the bill: “Expanded E15 use means healthier people and a cleaner environment. Ethanol displaces many of the toxins and carcinogens found in traditional gasoline while delivering benefits such as a 35 to 49% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Senators who represent Gulf states certainly don't need to be reminded of the environmental hazards of oil production. They, in particular, should appreciate a fuel alternative that is biodegradable and water-soluble.”