A strange coalition of groups, united against ethanol, joined together in a letter calling for more studies about the environmental effects of E15 saying, “this bill will halt EPA’s rush to introduce mid-level ethanol blends.” This is an interesting statement given that the EPA partially approved E15 for use in some vehicles in October 2010 and still hasn’t granted the final approval which is hardly a rush in our book.
In fact, the initial request from Growth Energy for the EPA to consider approving E15 as a fuel option was issue in March 2009! Three years later and still no final approval in sight, who’s rushing?
H.R. 3199 would require EPA to commission the 18-month study from the National Academy of Sciences prior to granting a final Clean Air Act waiver to gasoline that contains 15 percent ethanol. A later amendment to this bill erases all mentions of the Clean Air Act and reduces the legislation to simply “a comprehensive look at the short-term and long-term environmental, safety, durability and performance effects” of E15.
Looks like a poorly disguised delay tactic, and one that could hit consumers right in the pocket book.
Experts predict that gasoline will climb to over $4.00 a gallon this summer. Right now, in February 2011, wholesale ethanol is 60 cents cheaper and the gap is bound to widen as the price of gasoline rises. Why would the U.S. government want to take away a cost saving measure from consumers at a time when budgets are so tight nationwide?
E15 doesn’t need additional studies to prove its environmental, safety, durability or performance. Those studies have already been completed and initial approvals been given. What EPA really needs to do is complete the approval process so consumers can benefit from the change in fuel and the additional change in their pockets.