Research coalition cites evidence of E15 fuel damage

(January 30, 2013) WASHINGTON — New research released by the Coordinating Research Council (CRC) today found that E15, gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol, would damage millions of post-2001 model year vehicles. The CRC study concluded that E15 would result in fuel system failures.

"This latest research is further evidence that E15 is not just an abstract public policy gone wrong; it's likely to harm everyday consumers," said Charlie T. Drevna, president of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM).

The CRC engine durability study and the newly released fuel pump study provide compelling evidence that EPA's approval of E15 was premature. EPA must examine this new information and reconsider its E15 waiver decision. EPA's decision to permit the sale of E15 will harm consumers and goes beyond the agency's authority to approve motor fuels under the Clean Air Act.

The EPA said in a statement that it hadn't reviewed the new report but said it determined E15 was acceptable for use in model year 2001 and newer cars and light pickups after analyzing test results from Department of Energy and other data. The agency also noted that it isn't requiring the use or sale of E15 or overriding automakers' requirements or recommendations for their vehicles.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) biofuel requirements first set by Congress in 2007 have become increasingly unworkable as fuel efficiency gains mean there is less gasoline to blend ethanol into without causing major issues for millions of cars, motorcycles, and small engines, such as lawnmowers, snow blowers and chainsaws.

Unfortunately, despite warnings from AAA, small engine manufacturers, and automakers that increasing ethanol concentration in gasoline could void vehicle warranties and jeopardize consumer safety, EPA has stood by its E15 decision.

"While Congress could not have anticipated that the Renewable Fuel Standard would backfire as badly as it has, increasing ethanol concentration in gasoline is not the appropriate response. Doing so will only prolong the shelf-life of a policy that has proven unworkable, time and time again. Congress must make it a priority this year to repeal the RFS before millions of motorists are put at risk," said Drevna.

AFPM, the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (formerly known as NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association) is a trade association representing high-tech American manufacturers of virtually the entire U.S. supply of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, other fuels and home heating oil, as well as the petrochemicals used as building blocks for thousands of vital products in daily life.

SOURCE American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, press reports