Archive for October, 2011

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Question for Ethanol Lobby: “How’s that E15 working out for you?”

October 2, 2011

So where are the E15 pumps?

It has been almost a year since the initial approval of a waiver for the use of E15 in non flex-fuel vehicles and about nine months since the waiver approval for cars going back to the 2001 model year.  So where is the E15?

Here is one recent summary of the status of E15 for non flex-fuel vehicles:

http://gbrccc.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/question-of-the-month-what-is-the-status-of-e15-implementation-now-that-the-u-s-environmental-protection-agency-epa-has-granted-the-recent-clean-air-act-caa-waivers/

Particular attention should be paid to the statement in the article that the EPA has not “registered” E15 as a legal fuel, http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15/

Further, what is odd is what is not said in the article about the lawsuits concerning the E15 waiver.

There have been at least three lawsuits against the EPA over the legality of the bifurcated waiver:

http://americanfuels.blogspot.com/2010/11/api-files-lawsuit-against-epas-e15.html

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2010/11/epa-ethanol-grocery-lawsuit-e15-corn-fuel-commodities.html

https://plus.ibinews.com/article/XEGdFwKgzOM/2011/09/22/nmma_files_lawsuit_against_epa/

One of the ironies is that just creating the label for gas pumps took until June, and no E15 could be pumped until the label was approved, and now there is a lawsuit over the label:

http://www.tradeonlytoday.com/home/516355-nmma-joins-court-appeal-of-e15-ruling

I know of no resolutions for any of these lawsuits.

The other huge impediment to E15, which is casually mentioned in the summary, is that many states have laws prohibiting the sale of ethanol blends higher than 10% in non flex-fuel vehicles and California is one of them, the largest gasoline market in the U.S.  My state of Oregon also has a statute that limits the sale of ethanol blended gasoline to 10% for non flex-fuel cars and our legislative session for the year is over and although several bills were introduced to repeal our mandatory E10 law which is widely despised, not one of them would have changed the statute that limits non flex-fuel vehicles to E10, in fact our legislators don’t have a clue about the E15 waiver.  Apparently the ethanol lobby doesn’t care that E15 can’t be sold in many states … or they just don’t know that.

As I have said before, if you were waiting with baited breath for E15 to show up for use in your 2001 or newer vehicle, none of them warrantied for said fuel nor having a fuel map for the computerized fuel injection system, exhale now before you cause permanent brain damage from lack of oxygen.  Next year we will hit the blend wall and E15 will do nothing to avert it.  And then I wonder what the gasoline producers will do with all of the ethanol they will be swimming in with nowhere to put it.   (This is prophetic … just in:  http://green.autoblog.com/2011/09/27/u-s-gasoline-demand-hits-10-year-august-low/  the blending wall just keeps getting closer.)

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