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Groups Opposing Increase in Ethanol in Gasoline Launch Campaign Advocating More Scientific Testing


SEE ALSO: World Bank Study Debunks Food vs. Fuel Myth
SEE ALSO: Ricardo Research Shows E15 Poses Minimal Risk to Older Vehicles (Sept 15, 2010)
SEE ALSO: The Auto Channel Fights for the Truth about Ethanol Versus Gasoline
SEE ALSO: Ethanol Conversion Untruths, Misinformation and Negative Overstatement: One Example, PBS' Motor Week E85 Conversion Story
SEE ALSO: Big Oil Benefits From Divide and Conquer
SEE ALSO: America's Problem-American Solution
SEE ALSO: Yes Virginia There Is A Single Solution To "No More Gasoline Now"

Originally Published July 21, 2010

Editors Note:The basic article and citations were originally published on July 21, 2010, but because of a renewed e-mail campaign by, aimed at automotive journalists and others, to disseminate what we found to be untruths about E-15(see their e-mail below), We felt it important that there was honest refutation available to those readers who want the truth.

On July 20 and 21 I followed up the original release with a series of phone meetings with many of the endorsers and signers of this anti E-15 position. All those organizations associated with the food arena were against E-15 because they believed that making ethanol pushes the price of food up, one group felt that because they represent "poor" people anything that they can do to keep food costs down would benefit their constituency. I did not interview the obviously self interested organizations who support this position and paid for the ad. When I later brought the World Bank Study Debunks Food vs. Fuel Myth pronouncement to the food organization's signers, they had no comment.
So there you go, it looks like the insidious forces of evil continue to hold sway on supposedly worldly and educated people in spite of the facts...too bad.

Warn of Possible Safety and Environmental Dangers

WASHINGTON, July 21, 2010; Environmental and industry groups that frequently oppose each other on a broad range of policy issues are launching a joint campaign calling on Congress to require thorough and objective scientific testing before allowing an increase in the amount of ethanol in gasoline.

Raising strong concerns about consumer safety and environmental protection, the groups have joined forces to sponsor an ad with the tagline "Say NO to untested E15" as part of an effort to persuade Congress and the Environmental Protection Agency to reject calls by some in the ethanol industry to allow the amount of ethanol in gasoline to increase by 50 percent.

Most gasoline sold in the United States contains 10 percent ethanol (E10). Some ethanol lobbyists are seeking to boost that to 15 percent (E15), or to compromise with a boost to 12 percent (E12).

The groups are contacting members of Congress and have posted their first ad and other material warning against higher levels of ethanol without adequate testing on the Web site

The first ad will begin running Thursday in Politico and Roll Call (print and Web) and continue in these publications and Congress Daily next week. More ads are expected to follow later.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
"The sky is falling, the sky is falling"

Ethanol burns hotter than gasoline and corrodes soft metals, plastics and rubber. The groups collectively believe more testing is needed to determine how much ethanol is too much for different types of existing engines to use safely without risking engine failure that could leave a boat stranded at sea, a snowmobile stuck in subfreezing temperatures in a wilderness blizzard, or a motorcycle unable to move in the blazing heat of a desert.

"Some ethanol companies want consumers to pump first and ask questions later," said National Petrochemical & Refiners Association President Charles T. Drevna. "Rather than run a giant science experiment on the vehicles and gasoline-powered equipment owned by just about every American family, we believe Congress and the EPA have a responsibility to protect the public. They shouldn't authorize E15 unless full and complete scientific testing confirms it's safe and compatible with all gasoline-powered engines."

The sponsors of the ad are: Environmental Working Group; Natural Resources Defense Council; The Hispanic Institute; Engine Manufacturers Association; International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association; Motorcycle Industry Council; National Marine Manufacturers Association; Outdoor Power Equipment Institute; American Frozen Food Institute; American Meat Institute; Grocery Manufacturers Association; Snack Food Association; American Petroleum Institute; National Association of Truck Stop Operators; National Petrochemical & Refiners Association.

The ad is illustrated by four color photos of people next to stalled vehicles and equipment - a snowmobile, a car, a riding lawnmower and a boat - under the headline: "Don't let the ethanol industry leave you stranded."

"Congress shouldn't rush to judgment based on politics," the ad says. "It should wait for the completion of thorough and objective scientific tests and act to protect your safety and our environment.

"Increasing hot-burning ethanol from 10% (E10) to 15% (E15) of gasoline could harm some engines," the ad continues. "E15 has never been thoroughly tested to determine if it's safe for engines in the cars, boats and outdoor power equipment used by millions of Americans every day."

The groups also raise other concerns about increasing ethanol in gasoline.

"As environmentalists and public health advocates, we're concerned that more corn ethanol in our gasoline would lead to more dangerous pollutants coming out our tailpipes and ending up in our lungs, cause more forests to be cut down for planting, put fragile lands under the tractor and use up scarce water resources," said Nathanael Greene, director of renewable energy policy for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

"None of the 200 million pieces of outdoor power equipment in use today were designed, built or warranted to run on any fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol," said Kris Kiser, executive vice president of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. "DOE testing of E-15 on existing outdoor power equipment demonstrated increased heat, performance irregularities, unintentional clutch engagement and failure. It is imperative that all testing is complete on E-15 before its introduction into the fuels marketplace to protect consumers' safety and economic interests."

The Department of Energy (DOE) is currently conducting limited testing of the ability of pollution control equipment in some cars to function with E15, and EPA may make a decision allowing E15 in late-model cars in September.

However, the DOE tests do not cover critical areas including: engine durability; tolerance of the "check-engine" light; durability of other components, such as the fuel pump and the fuel level sensor; and the problem of fuel vapors leaking out of an idle car - parked with the engine off - sitting outside on a hot sunny day.

Extensive testing in all of these areas where DOE is not conducting its own testing is well underway - with the knowledge of both EPA and DOE - by the privately funded Coordinating Research Council. However, those extensive scientific tests will not be completed for several years.

Food Vs. Fuel Another Diversion From the Fine Folks In OPEC and Their Fellow Travelers

Copy of Anti E-15 e-mail sent out September 14, 2010:

From: "Abbey Watson" 
Date: September 14, 2010 3:07:46 PM EDT
Subject: Major Gasoline Change Looming - Could Harm Engines
Reply-To: "Abbey Watson" 

Major Gasoline Change Looming; Consumers Unaware

50 Percent More Ethanol in Gasoline Could Harm Engines
“. . .EPA should not approve the use of E15 until the agency has sufficient test results to allow you to assure consumers that use of E15 will not harm their vehicles or engines.”
Letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson from House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Ranking Member Joe Barton, and House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment Chairman Edward J. Markey and Ranking Member Fred Upton, July 29, 2010

“I think that the EPA Administrator has indicated we’re going to have E15.” U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, August 17, 2010

The new model year is upon us but with the economy in the dumps, more and more people will be relying on older cars. Yet very few motorists are aware of the strong possibility of a major change in the makeup of their gasoline – a change which could prove problematic for cars now on the road.


Without waiting for comprehensive testing, as soon as this month the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may allow an increase in the ethanol content of gasoline from 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15). That’s a 50 percent increase in the amount of ethanol in a gallon.

The ethanol industry is pushing for approval of this provision despite the fact that E15 could harm many types of engines and the environment as well as increase food prices across-the-board.


Cars: The government’s testing on the effect of 50 percent more ethanol on car engines is totally inadequate. Areas the government is not studying include what effect extra ethanol will have on:

  • • The life of your engine, even for newer models
  • • Causing your “check engine light” to come on either unnecessarily, causing undue concern and needless trips to the service station, or too late to avoid costly repairs
  • • The performance of your fuel tank, fuel pump and fuel level sensor

These are all questions for which you should have answers before you start filling up your car’s gas tank with E15. But the EPA is not waiting for answers. Our government is set on a course of action that’s essentially, “Pump first. Ask questions later.”

Consumer Confusion and Misfueling

The EPA may approve E15 only for newer cars. But we already know from past experience, with the switch from leaded to unleaded gasoline, that once a new fuel is in the gas supply system it inevitably will end up in the wrong engines.

Consumers will need to become Gasoline Detectives. They will need to know which model years can run on E15 and which cannot, and even then – since the testing so far is not comprehensive – they won’t know for certain whether it’s safe. Consumers will need to know not to fuel trailered boats or gas containers from the same E15 pump dedicated to late-model cars and trucks.


We all know that it’s a rare event for Washington politicians of differing parties to agree on almost anything. That’s why a recent letter from four House members, two from each party and all with strong energy policy knowledge, caused such a stir. The letter, a portion of which is quoted in the opening of this message, was addressed to the EPA administrator. In it, the four writers – Democrats Henry Waxman and Edward Markey and Republicans Joe Barton and Fred Upton – called into question whether the EPA has done its homework on what would be a major change in the mix of our gasoline, and they posed a series of questions that make it clear that they think the EPA needs to do more work. To read their letter, including its detailed and penetrating questions, click here.


A diverse group of environmental and industry groups have joined together to oppose approval of E15 without comprehensive testing. The groups involved include:

Environmental Working Group
Natural Resources Defense Council
The Hispanic Institute
Engine Manufacturers Association
International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association
Motorcycle Industry Council
National Marine Manufacturers Association	
Outdoor Power Equipment Institute
American Frozen Food Institute
American Meat Institute
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Snack Food Association
American Petroleum Institute
NATSO (National Association of Truck Stop Operators)
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association
   Liz Poston, 202-207-3638      
Abbey Watson, 202-207-3660