Print 88 comment(s) - last by bebimbap.. on Dec 7 at 6:24 PM

EPA responds "don't worry, we're warning folks, but we're forcing it on them anyways"

President Obama's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made quite the unpopular decision when it pushed ahead with plans to force E15 -- a blend of fuel with a higher percentage of ethanol; mostly from "dirty" corn sources -- on consumers.  The move came despite an impassioned plea from politicians on both sides of the aisle that warned of dire consequences to livestock farmers and consumer food prices if the measure passed.

I. AAA: Stop This E15 Nonsense

Now the nation's largest travel organization, AAA has joined the critics, pleading the EPA to reconsider its decision to manipulate the market and push more ethanol on consumers.

The AAA made the decision to oppose the E15 rollout after surveying its 53 million members. What it found was somewhat surprising; despite the contentious debate about corn ethanol in the media, 95 percent of members who responded said they had never heard of E15.

AAA ethanol
AAA has petitioned the EPA to stop its E15 rollout. [Image Source: AAA]

The recommendation is also based on a second survey of auto manufacturers, which asserts that just 12 million out of the 240 million light vehicles on the road today are ready for E15.  Chrysler LLC does not certify any of its vehicles (including current models) as being safe to fuel with E15.  While General Motors Comp. (GM) and Ford Motor Comp. (F) certify their current vehicles for E15 use, they explicitly recommend against it for older vehicles, saying it can cause engine damage.

In addition to Chrysler, a number of foreign manufacturers, including Toyota Motor Corp. (TYO:7203), Nissan Motor Comp., Ltd. (TYO:7201), Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW), and Volkswagen AG (ETR:VOW) do not certify their vehicles for E15 use.  In fact, they warn that using E15 in current model year North American vehicles may void your warranty, if the vehicle receives fuel-related damage.

Chrysler, Honda Motor Comp., Ltd. (TYO:7267), Mazda Motor Corp. (TYO:7261), Kia-Hyundai, Daimler AG's (ETR:DAI) luxury imprint Mercedes-Benz, and AB Volvo (OMX:VOLV) all warn that E15 is not covered in their owner manuals and just using it may fully void your warranty coverage.

AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet said in a statement to The Detroit News, "It is clear that millions of Americans are unfamiliar with E15, which means there is a strong possibility that many motorists may improperly fill up using this gasoline and damage their vehicle.  Bringing E15 to the market without adequate safeguards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers.  The sale and use of E15 should be suspended until additional gas pump labeling and consumer education efforts are implemented to mitigate problems for motorists and their vehicles."

Currently, 95 percent of gas stations nationwide sell E10, a blend that contains ten percent ethanol, a level that automakers say is less caustic to older engines.  In Dec. 2010 the "Big Three" U.S. automakers lost their case before the U.S. Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit, in which they argued against the impending EPA E15 rollout, on the grounds that it would damage their older vehicles.

Last year, the Republican-controlled U.S House of Representatives passed a bill that would have blocked the EPA from enacting the higher blend, but the Democratic-controlled Senate mothballed the bill, refusing to discuss it.  

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) was among the hundreds of federal politicians to sign the petition to the EPA to grant a waiver on the E15 requirement.  He said in a recent statement, "AAA's findings affirm what we have already heard — E15 causes premature engine damage and voids warranties, even on new models.  Concerns about E15 are not diminishing; they are increasing. That is telling. When an organization like AAA, a nationally trusted source for motorists, calls out the EPA, you would think the administration would listen."

II. EPA: We Don't Care

But it appears instead the administration is listening to corn advocates.  The decision to artificially inflate corn demand is a boon for big corn producers like Archer Daniels Midland Comp. (ADM) and ConAgra Foods, Inc. (CAG), which may pocket billions in profits from the manipulation.

corn profits
Big corn donates deeply to federal politiicans, who in turn reward it with billions in subsidies.
[Image Source:]

The EPA in a response to the AAA statement says it is simply not turning back on E15, commenting that instead it will add warnings to gas stations to help "educate" customers.  Comments a spokesperson, "To address these concerns, EPA has been working with AAA and other stakeholders to help inform consumers about the use of E15 and recently required all retailers that sell E15 to label fuel pumps with a prominent orange and black label that EPA developed with the Federal Trade Commission. While EPA does not require retailers to sell E15, the label will help ensure consumers are aware about which vehicles are approved for its use."

Meanwhile Bob Dinneen chief of the corn growers advocacy, the Renewable Fuels Association, blast the AAA and its fellow E15 opponents saying what's good for corn is good for the country.  He comments, "[The AAA protest] reflects a pathetic ignorance of EPA's unprecedented test program before approving E15 for commercial use. The fact is E15 has been the most aggressively and comprehensively tested fuel in the history of the agency."

For consumers whose warranties may soon be voided by the E15 rollout and whose engines may be damaged by it, as well, about the only good news is that there currently isn't much E15 across the country.  Despite the active EPA mandate, only 10 gas stations across the country have adopted the fuel.

Sources: AAA, The Detroit News

Comments     Threshold

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Don't like E15
By idiot77 on 12/2/2012 12:30:23 AM , Rating: -1
Then don't frickin' buy it.

They're just making an option FFS.

You guys are a bunch of fascists morons. Gov't tries to open the market up to other options and you all go nuts.

If the blend is so bad as you claim, nobody will buy it.

RE: Don't like E15
By ElConquistador on 12/2/2012 3:25:28 AM , Rating: 2
Finally someone with a brain comments on this article!

RE: Don't like E15
By Mint on 12/2/2012 5:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
And yet he got rated down.

I bet you it's because people think that E15 actually is a mandate as the article suggests, rather than simply a certification to allow it to be sold.

RE: Don't like E15
By Motoman on 12/2/2012 10:26:39 AM , Rating: 2
If the blend is so bad as you claim, nobody will buy it.

Yes they will. Because people are stupid.

RE: Don't like E15
By Mint on 12/2/2012 11:52:07 AM , Rating: 2
How is that different from anything else sold in the free market?

Should we ban all products that you don't like even though you haven't seen any test results?

RE: Don't like E15
By idiot77 on 12/2/2012 12:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, so now that your 'free market' talking points aren't in line with your notion of 'what's right' you jettison it.

So glad you're not a political tool.

Oh wait.

RE: Don't like E15
By Motoman on 12/2/2012 8:09:38 PM , Rating: 2
...what "free market" talking points was I making? I don't recall making any at all - not in this article anyway.

And besides, it is true that people are stupid. If you put a nozzle on gas pumps labeled "cat piss" people would put it in their cars.

RE: Don't like E15
By idiot77 on 12/2/2012 9:49:00 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... stupidest thing I've heard ever. "I didn't say anything about this right, right here, so it doesn't matter."

WOW.... has FauxNews contacted you for a paid Blog yet?

That's the kind of logic that makes you the political tool I called you for.

RE: Don't like E15
By Motoman on 12/3/2012 11:39:16 AM , Rating: 2

How about instead of blathering like an idiot you post a link to something I said that you think relates to your post? I have no idea WTF you're talking about.

RE: Don't like E15
By Motoman on 12/3/2012 11:40:38 AM , Rating: 2
And for the record, anyone who watches Faux News should be legally declared to be retarded and put in an insane asylum.

I'd suspect the same may be true of MSNBC, but I haven't seen any of that.

RE: Don't like E15
By Mint on 12/2/2012 12:10:53 PM , Rating: 4
Jason Mick is really becoming a joke of a reporter.

He says that the EPA is "forcing E10 on consumers", and provides a link that supposedly backs that claim. Little did I know it goes to another DT article he wrote saying nothing of the sort.

He talks about the "E15 requirement", but later I see the EPA quote - "While EPA does not require retailers to sell E15" - which made things look contradictory.

I then looked it up, and this is what the EPA says:
In response to a request by Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted two partial waivers that taken together allow but do not require the introduction into commerce of gasoline that contains greater than 10 volume percent (vol%) ethanol and up to 15 vol% ethanol (E15) for use in model year (MY) 2001 and newer light-duty motor vehicles, subject to certain conditions.

This is a regulation to clear the way for another fuel to compete on the market. There's no mandate. If I hadn't sought the truth myself, Mick would have me believe that E15 was a replacement for the E10 in the RFS.

RE: Don't like E15
By Dr of crap on 12/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: Don't like E15
By ritualm on 12/4/2012 6:32:41 PM , Rating: 2
AND if you do not want to use E15 - DON'T USE IT.

Government mandate = you don't have a choice, you must use E15.

RE: Don't like E15
By bebimbap on 12/7/2012 6:24:45 PM , Rating: 1
The problem is most people don't see dollars/mile, they only see dollars/gallon.

In using E10 blend vs 100% petroleum gasoline I get about a 10% decrease in mileage.

If I had one gallon of 100% petroleum gasoline, I get about 40-44 MPG
If I run the same routes with E10 blend, i get about 36-38 MPG

so let's calculate this out, If I were to extract all the ethanol out and had only .9 gal of 100% petroleum gasoline left, I would travel 36-39.6 miles. so I would travel the same distance or FARTHER on the same gallon of gas IF I were to take all the ethanol out of it and just used what was left.

The government says ethanol makes my gasoline cheaper, well per gallon yes, I could piss in your gasoline and make it cheaper too, same effect. If gas were even 15% more expensive than E10 blend, it would be worth it since ethanol damages key parts of your engine and fuel system.

If only I could extract the enthanol then sell it back to the government since they say a 300% increase in grocery bill is worth the 10% decrease in fuel prices.

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