E15 Decision Anticipated, Labeling Rule Needs Attention

Jan 21, 2011  |  ICGA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                      CONTACT: Tricia Braid

                                                                              (309) 830-3393

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ruling today affirms higher ethanol blends are safe for roughly 62% of vehicles on the road, but pump labeling issues, if not handled properly, may dampen retailer and consumer acceptance of this homegrown, renewable fuel.

 EPA’s move to approve E15 for all model year vehicles 2001-2006 amplifies the October 2010 decision which approved model years 2007 and newer. Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) has anticipated today’s decision which was undoubtedly underpinned by sound science, similar to research funded by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) last year.

Internationally recognized fuel systems designer Ricardo, Inc., performed the ICMB study indicating that E15 performed substantially similar to E10 in a representative sample of fuel systems, covering more than 85% of all vehicles currently on the road, model years 1994 and newer.

“Dividing the approval of E15 among model year segments has the potential to make fueling decisions unnecessarily confusing at the pump, especially considering the labels that EPA has proposed,” said ICGA President and corn farmer Jim Reed.

“The ethanol industry and the nation’s corn farmers hope that after over 30 years of ethanol blended gasoline proving its ability to reduce oil imports, improving air quality, increasing gasoline performance and reducing costs to the consumer, the transition to the next blend level would be relatively seamless,” Reed continued. “We will work to see that pump labels don’t cause confusion and apprehension regarding this proven, homegrown, renewable fuel.”

“Motorists don’t have to look any farther for confirmation of E15 as a fuel blend than their own televisions on February 20 when NASCAR runs the Daytona 500 with a 15 percent ethanol blend. As Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack said, if it’s good enough for Jimmy Johnson, it ought to be good enough for the rest of us.”