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Industry associations lost their last appeal

The Obama administration has been pushing to reduce the amount of oil that we consume within the United States. This has resulted in a big push to increase the use of alternative fuels and rules forcing automakers to become more fuel-efficient. The alternative fuel push lead to the EPA’s decision to approve a gasoline blend that uses more ethanol for 2001 model year vehicles and newer.

However, many automotive manufacturer associations continue to assert that increasing the percentage of ethanol in fuel could harm some vehicles. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers, the Outdoor Equipment Institute, and the National Marine Manufacturers Association jointly filed a petition this week seeking the Supreme Court to overturn EPA's plans.
These associations all lost a previous appeal when the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that none of those trade associations or parties had the legal standing to challenge the EPA's approval of E15 fuel.

These groups are hoping that the Supreme Court might overturn the lower court's ruling.

"It is not in the longer-term interest of consumers, the government, and all parties involved to discover, after the fact, that equipment or performance problems are occurring because a new fuel was rushed into the national marketplace,” said the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

The EPA first cleared the way to bring E15 fuel to gas stations around the country in June of 2012. Current gasoline blends available at stations around the country can have up to 10% ethanol.

"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 in June of 2012. "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."

Some states are also up in arms over the increased ethanol proposal. The state of Maine has pledged to ban the sale of E15 fuel within the state if at least two other New England states agree to ban the fuel as well.

Source: Detroit News

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By DanNeely on 3/27/2013 11:01:17 AM , Rating: 5
E10 wasn't obligatory either; but the only way for the fuel refiners to reach national must use XXX ethanol was to replace almost all the non-ethanol gas with the ethanolated version. The only gas station in my area that was a holdout stopped advertising ethanol free gas on its sign about 2 years ago.

By Mint on 3/27/2013 11:14:05 AM , Rating: 2
I understand that, but this challenge to the Supreme Court has nothing to do with the RFS mandate. We've actually pretty much reached the long term RFS target of corn based ethanol anyway.

Only if cellulosic ethanol pans out will refiners be forcing E15/E85 on people, but it looks like it won't and thus the EPA keeps revising those targets down.

By Argon18 on 3/27/2013 6:01:38 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly. It's insulting that this gov't official would claim ethanol gives consumers "a real choice" at the pump. There is no choice at the pump today, nor will there be in the future. I'd love to have the option to buy pure gas with zero ethanol, but I don't have that option. Ethanol is a wasteful expensive Big Corn scam that is hugely harmful to the environment. Corn requires a massive amount of pesticides, and fertilizers, far more than most other crops, and this has been poisoning our ground water, our lakes, and our rivers and streams for a long time now. Using Corn for fuel is idiotic.

By swhibble on 3/28/2013 11:10:07 AM , Rating: 2
You may have the option...

If you're anywhere near the coast, stop by a marina sometime. They have pure petrol you can fill your car up with.

By JediJeb on 3/28/2013 7:56:00 PM , Rating: 2
The question is what do you consider "pure" gasoline?

Gasoline with no additives was already a problem in engines back in the 1920s when tetraethyllead was first introduced. This was used to raise the octane enough to allow increases in compression ratio to give better power and economy. When it was phased out alcohol and Methyl-tertbutylether(MTBE) was introduced. MTBE has now been banned in most places because it contaminates ground water supplies so the shift was made to Methanol and Ethanol.

I do not promote forcing E15 into production, but to complain that you must have no ethanol, then what will we use for the anti-knock additive? Are we ready to go back to low compression engines just to stop using ethanol, or if we change what is added will it be even worse for the environment?

By Noya on 3/29/2013 6:06:59 AM , Rating: 3

The question is what do you consider "pure" gasoline?

I do not promote forcing E15 into production, but to complain that you must have no ethanol, then what will we use for the anti-knock additive? Are we ready to go back to low compression engines just to stop using ethanol, or if we change what is added will it be even worse for the environment?

You're grossly misinformed on fuel.

Back in the day, on the West Coast we had 87, 89 and 91 octane. It's now watered down with ethanol (E10) that can really vary up to about 15%. At E15, it will no doubt vary up to 20%.

In EU, Au, Jp they have 95 (and even 98) octane available (using the same Ron/Mon formula) with no ethanol added.

This is basically an "invisible" tax on us as it lowers mileage and also increases the price of everything else that corn goes into (processed "food" and any low-to-mid grade dairy and meats). If they're still getting subsidies, it's basically like we're getting taxed three times more on E10/E15 fuel (lower MPG, subsidy, food prices) vs. undiluted fuel.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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