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The fight over E15 is not over yet

The Environmental Protection Agency has given the approval for retailers to sell 15% ethanol blended fuel. The fuel we purchase at most gas stations around the country today already has 10% ethanol mixed in. The EPA and other supporters of the plan have wanted to add an additional 5% ethanol to the fuel mix for cars built after 2001.
"Today, the last significant federal hurdle has been cleared to allow consumers to buy fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol (E15)," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "This gets us one step closer to giving the American consumer a real choice at the pump. The public has a right to choose between imported oil and home-grown energy and today’s action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advances that goal."
The goal of the plan is to help reduce the dependence on foreign oil by using ethanol derived from corn.
“In the eyes of the federal government, E15 is a legal fuel for sale to cars, pickups, and SUVs made since 2001,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “With all i’s dotted and t’s crossed as far as EPA is concerned, our undivided focus will turn to addressing state regulatory issues, identifying retailers wishing to offer E15, and paving the way to greater use of domestically produced ethanol."
There are still other issues that have to be overcome before E15 makes it to pumps. These issues include pending litigation and threats from Washington. The U.S. House of Representatives has previously threatened to block the EPA's plans to force E15 sales at stations around the country. Many still argue that the use of E15 could cause millions of dollars in damage to engines in vehicles around the country.
One of the organizations opposing the rollout of E15 is the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute or OPEI. According to OPEI, government tests show that E15 is harmful to outdoor power equipment, boats, marine engines, and other non-road engine products. Adding an additional option at the pump could confuse consumers leading to misfueling and damage of engines according to OPEI.
"For the first time in American history, fuel used for some automobiles may no longer safe for any non-road products. It may, in fact, destroy or damage generators, chain saws, utility vehicles, lawn mowers, boats and marine engines, snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs, and more," says Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, one of the industry groups who have been sending warnings to the federal government about E15.
Keiser added, "[The] EPA purports to educate tens of millions of Americans using hundreds of millions of engine products, asserting it will educate these users with a 3 inch by 3 inch pump label. It's frighteningly inadequate."
Some major automakers also argue E15 could harm engines in cars and trucks as well.

Sources: Autoblog, Wisconsin Ag Connection

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RE: retarded
By inperfectdarkness on 6/20/2012 2:49:56 AM , Rating: 2
Did you also miss the point that "pure" gasoline (93 octane) has a substantially lower octane rating than ethanol (e85)? Or did you intentionally overlook this fact because all fuels are supposedly used in identical engines? (In which case I can only assume you'd choose to run gasoline in a diesel engine).

I know that DT has a history of hating on ethanol-based fuels...but please let's be clear. Just because it's ethanol-based doesn't mean it's corn-based. Furthermore, so long as we pay subsidies to farmers for unused farmland--we have PLENTY of room to expand production of crop-based ethanol production. And that's not to mention the potential for decomposition-based ethanol production (sewage plants, etc).

Finally, I'd also like to point out the lack of other viable non-gasoline options. Vehicles with compressed fuel tanks (CNG, Hydrogen) are extremely dangerous in the event of a serious accident. Battery technology is not far enough along to present a viable alternative to liquid-based fuels (long charge times, short charge duration, limited amounts of power, lack of universal battery-swapping at service stations). Additionally, there's a lack of sufficient power-generation infrastructure.

Additional drilling for new fossil-fuels will come with diminishing returns. Even if we faced no political qualms about importing from middle-eastern countries, we will eventually need a fuel source besides gasoline. I'm open to whatever that fuel source might be--however, I do feel that the process of migration ("weening" ourselves, if you will) needs to happen now.

Flex-fuel vehicles have completely pulled the wool over the public's eyes. I could design an E-95 only vehicle that gets the same HP/TQ as your current vehicle--weighing less--and having virtually identical MPG. It's not even that difficult of a proposition, but logic isn't that common.

"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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