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Maine will ban E15 if at least two other New England states follow suit

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is working on a bill that would ban E15 fuel blends from being sold within the state. E15 is a blend of fuel that has 15% ethanol content compared to the E10 with 10% ethanol that is common across the country today. The United States EPA approved the sale of E15 in June of 2012.

However, filling stations have been very slow to adopt the new E15 blend and as of now, the fuel is only available at 10 stations in Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection says that it will ban E15 blends within the state if at least two other New England states go along with the prohibition.

The move comes amid concerns that many vehicles on the highways today and most small engines don't support the higher ethanol content in E15 fuel. The ethanol industry is reportedly aggressively marketing the new E15 blend in seeking to spread its availability outside of the current small footprint.

“We see the writing on the wall from the feds, and we want to make sure that Maine consumers and businesses are protected if others in the region are doing the same,” said DEP spokeswoman Samantha DePoy-Warren.

AAA recently conducted a survey and found that five automotive manufacturers specifically state warranties do not cover E15 related engine damage. Eight other automakers have said that E15 fuel does not comply with their vehicles fuel requirements. On the flipside, the Renewable Fuels Association, an ethanol industry association, claimed that 60% of the light-duty vehicles on the roads within the U.S. today can use E15 fuel blend.

Source: Bangor Daily News

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Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By RufusM on 1/15/2013 10:18:50 AM , Rating: 5
The ethanol market today was produced by agri-business and midwest-state's members of Congress that supported fuel mandates. They managed to get the environmental lobby behind them to push the mandates through. Even today, with all of the science against the efficiency of ethanol vs gasoline, the EPA isn't budging.

It's nothing more than a con game to support agri-business wanting a new outlet for their products. I live in a midwest farm state and know how strong the agri-business lobby is.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By Nortel on 1/15/2013 10:24:38 AM , Rating: 1
I completely agree. Ethanol has nowhere near the same combustibility compared to gasoline, which means you go less distance on ethanol vs the same amount of gas. Ethanol is also much cheaper to produce. When you add 15% ethanol to petrol, they have just saved 15% worth of gas.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By RufusM on 1/15/2013 10:46:28 AM , Rating: 4
Right now, Ethanol is about equal to gas to produce per gallon, unsubsidized. Even if gasoline continues to go up, there not enough ground to plant corn, switchgrass, etc. to displace a significant enough amount of gas.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By Samus on 1/15/2013 1:12:33 PM , Rating: 1
Ironically, the states proposing the bans are where it makes most sense. Ethanol decreases the freezing point of fuel (winterization) and these states have over 100 days a year of below-freezing temps. What are they using instead that won't clog injector baskets and fuel filters?

E15 is completely fine. This whole thing is totally oversensationalized. The debate shouldn't be about safety or compatibility of E15, it should be about why corn farmers are getting a kickback to produce more crap we don't need.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By Solandri on 1/15/2013 5:02:11 PM , Rating: 4
Yeah, dunno why you got rated down. Ethanol itself isn't the problem. It's got some idiosyncrasies that need to be dealt with on the engineering side, but so does gasoline. It makes a decent fuel, and will be more so as we further refine methods of turning plant matter (or algae) into ethanol.

It's corn ethanol which is the problem. Corn is a terrible crop for making ethanol.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By JKflipflop98 on 1/16/2013 3:50:04 AM , Rating: 1
Not to mention it's kind of perverse to burn food to travel down the road when there are millions of starving people in the US.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By maugrimtr on 1/16/2013 11:37:17 AM , Rating: 2
Corn is the only way to currently make Ethanol affordable. Never mind that finding investors to scale up algae science experiments must now compete with a subsidized food crop being perverted into a fuel. Never mind that it increases demand for corn leading to volatile prices and damage to other forms of food supply (i.e. corn prices' impact on feed for livestock).

This is not environmentalism. Whichever environmentalists support this sort of market manipulation need their heads examined. Perhaps give them a copy of the Bible since they're obviously in the same camp as the science-is-the-devil crowd.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By euclidean on 1/15/2013 10:58:26 AM , Rating: 2
"Ethanol is also much cheaper to produce."

I'm not sure I can believe this piece. I live in the Midwest, and we have a handful of E85 stations around here. E85 is only about 20-30 cents per gallon cheaper than regular unleaded. How could only 15% Ethanol be any cheaper?

Totally agree though, Ethanol's short-comings are scientifically proven and really has no place in our car market today.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By Wolfpup on 1/15/2013 12:08:02 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, apparently takes more oil to make Ethanlol than the equivalent you get from it.

And most cars can't use it. I don't even really trust this 10% blend, but I know my 2012 explicitly says not to use more than that in it.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By daboom06 on 1/15/2013 12:15:22 PM , Rating: 3
what you pay at the store is never what something is worth.

beef in america is way cheaper than it should be. ethanol-gas is probably way more expensive than it should be. all because of taxes and subsidies.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By ShaolinSoccer on 1/15/2013 11:04:25 AM , Rating: 3
Who cares how far it takes you? I'm more worried about the damage it'll do to my engine.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By Nortel on 1/15/2013 3:39:07 PM , Rating: 2
I totally overlooked that aspect.

Anything exposed to ethanol must be made of corrosion-resistant (and expensive) stainless steel or plastic—from fuel-injection components to the tanks, pumps and hoses
- Popular Mechanics

Also, the seals in a petrol engine are not designed to be used with ethanol.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By TSS on 1/15/2013 4:30:36 PM , Rating: 2
So wait, in addition to using crops for fuel, giving less energy so needing more fuel then you already use, it also damages your engine?

That's excellent! People have to fill up more, people have to buy new cars faster, and people have to pay more for food! Some people are going to be... excuse me... are being very wealthy!

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By tastyratz on 1/15/2013 11:17:59 AM , Rating: 2
The agri lobbyists don't care if you saved 15% gas, they care that you used 15% ethanol. It's strictly a business decision.

And it's not cheaper to produce, it's extremely expensive but tax SUBSIDIED. It takes more than 1 gallon of petrolatum fuel to produce 1 gallon of ethanol right now, it is net negative.

Doesn't matter what cool tech's we read about here, it's big corn that makes the push - and they aren't behind switchgrass/algae/unicorn dust. They are behind corn.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By kattanna on 1/15/2013 11:52:49 AM , Rating: 2
unicorn dust

since we all know now that north korea has unicorns.. maybe we can try them and find out for sure


RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By Uncle on 1/16/2013 5:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
How much longer are Americans going to keep Monsanto's shareholders happy. The people get nailed twice, tax subsidy to agri business and again at the pumps.I guess the feds recoup some of the tax back at the pumps.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By Uncle on 1/16/2013 5:14:10 PM , Rating: 2
Forgot to mention ethanol was foisted on to the people to cut back on Mideast oil. Now that the industry is awash in US shale oil and Canadian oil, so much so that Canada wants and needs to build pipelines to the west coast for export. I think we can cut back the subsidies to Monsanto and others. In a free market Farmers will find other crops that sell if corn doesn't pay. Another thing Corn is fed to cows to get them fat faster for slaughter, explain to me why we have to use all that corn fructose in foods for human consumption, when you read everywhere about the obesity problems in America.

RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By Ammohunt on 1/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Ethanol Fuel is a Bad Idea
By Omega215D on 1/15/2013 12:49:54 PM , Rating: 2
It's why every candidate focuses on the Iowa Caucus.

"Let's face it, we're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn." -- Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

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