Tricia Braid

Oct 15, 2018  |  Today's News |  Ethanol

Big Oil and their supporters are at it again, spreading half-truths and outright lies regarding the safety and feasibility of higher ethanol blends such as E15. The facts speak for themselves – America’s corn farmers have the ability to provide safe, clean-burning and renewable fuel, and consumers across the country benefit from choice. That’s why we are thanking President Donald Trump for his support of ethanol and E15 specifically by his decision last week to direct the EPA to write rules to make E15 available everywhere, year-round. You’ll likely be hearing Big Oil’s lies in your local media soon, if you haven’t already, because E15 is a threat to oil’s market share at the pump. Here’s a look at one of their bogus claims as it relates to engine damage.


False Claim: Auto industry studies have shown E15 can damage vehicle engines and fuel systems – potentially leaving consumers on the hook for expensive repair bills. -American Petroleum Institute


  • The Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 in 2011 for vehicles from model years 2001 and later – nine of every ten cars on the road today.
  • Since the approval of E15, there has not been a single case of engine damage from its use, and 5 billion miles have been driven with the fuel.
  • As of September 2018, E15 is offered by independent retailers like Caseys Qik-n-EZ, Thorntons, and others at 1633 locations in 30 states. Many of these retailers are in major metropolitan areas, and the number of sites selling E15 has doubled for four years in a row. Retailers are investing in infrastructure to give consumers choice.
  • Retail stations branded by oil majors don’t sell E15 because their franchise contracts prevent it, demonstrating the lengths to which the oil industry will go to keep lower-priced biofuel products away from consumers and prevent choice at the pump.
  • Consumers demonstrate that when given the choice, they will choose E15, which can save them between 3 and 10 cents a gallon.
  • E15 is not approved for use in small engines like boats or lawnmowers, and fuel pumps are clearly labeled with this information according to EPA requirements. Consumers know how to choose the fuel that meets their needs, and retailers that offer E15 continue to offer regular gasoline, or E10, as well.

E15 is better for the environment, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and reducing the number of toxic chemicals in gasoline. GHG emissions from ethanol are 43 percent lower than GHG emissions from gasoline. When refiners and retailers blend more ethanol for E15, the additional ethanol replaces more harmful aromatics and provides greater GHG reductions.