Archive for February, 2011

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Is EPA Administrator Jackson Waiting For Someone To Die?

February 15, 2011

I sent the following email to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson:

Dear Administrator Jackson:

The following post was left on the pure-gas.org web site in the Comments section:

“Recently our fire dept. was responding to a brush fire where the fire was about the get into a barn.  Our brush truck has a gasoline powered engine (which is almost new) in which we had a difficult time cranking to extinguish the fire.  Upon our investigation after the fire we found the cause of failure of the pump operating was due to ethanol gas.  The repair agency advised that we should not use ethanol gas on small engines due to this problem and that we should not store ethanol gas no more than 2 weeks.  Unfortunately we must store some gas for emergencies on fire apparatus for calls.  At some times it can be stored for quite some time before we use it.  How are fire dept’s suppose to operate equipment properly and store gas for emergencies with this causing engine problems?  Hope you don’t need to depend on this to save your life, the engine may not start???????  -Tony Collins, Advance, NC  (February 9, 2011)”

You can see it for yourself here:  http://pure-gas.org/comments, use the View all comments button to get to this earlier comment.

Are you going to wait until someone dies when portable equipment won’t start or quits during an emergency because of the unintended consequences of the RFS mandate in EISA 2007 that are turning all of the gasoline in the U.S. to E10?  As it stands now first responders and emergency crews cannot get ethanol free gasoline in California and most of the Northeast.  It is rapidly disappearing in the Northwest too, and it is apparently a serious problem in North Carolina.  I urge you to prohibit the blending of ethanol in all premium unleaded gasoline sold in the U.S., as you were requested by numerous organizations in the E15 comments, before someone is killed.

Regards — Dean Billing / Sisters, OR
www.e0pc.com
www.flyunleaded.com

I would urge others in the Public Safety field to let Administrator Jackson know if you have concerns about how the ethanol mandate is affecting your portable tools and equipment … before it is too late.  You can email her at jackson.lisap@epa.gov

Update 03/30/2011: Apparently the EPA is waiting for someone to die, as the following reply illustrates:

Dear Mr. Billing:

Thank you for your February 15, 2011 email to Administrator Jackson concerning the use of ethanol in gasoline and problems with small, non-road engines in emergency equipment. …

We are aware that some small, non-road engines are having problems with gasoline that contains 10 percent ethanol (E10). Furthermore, we have found that gasoline with 15 percent ethanol (E15) is not suitable for such engines.  As we transition to E10 and E15 we are monitoring the situation.  Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

Sincerely,

Karl J. Simon, Director
Compliance and Innovative Strategies Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality

So there you have it in black and white, “… we are monitoring the situation.

Translation from bureaucratese, “Yes, we are waiting for someone to die and if there is a public outcry, we will react.”

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All Of A Sudden The EPA Administrator Is Worried About “Unintended Consequences”

February 13, 2011

Say what? The EPA Administrator is worried about the unintended consequences in a new greenhouse gas bill.

“EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said during her testimony before the subcommittee Wednesday that there could be unintended consequences from the legislation.”

Who is the Administrator kidding?  The federal RFS mandate in EISA 2007 has caused humongous unintended consequences, including massive economic dislocation and property damage in the marine, aviation, antique and classic car, motorcycle, and small engine industry which will undoubtedly lead to death in the public safety sector that relies on portable tools.

The federal RFS mandate was supposed to spur the production and distribution of E85 and manufacturing of flex-fuel vehicles which are the only kind of vehicles that can use E85.  E85 is the ONLY Renewable Fuel mentioned in the act.  E10 is NEVER mentioned in the act.  E10 IS NOT Renewable Fuel as recognized by ASTM, it is gasoline laced with ethanol.  There is only one place in the act that other than E85 is mentioned, Section 244 (a), “DEFINITION OF RENEWABLE FUEL BLEND.—For purposes of this section, the term ‘‘renewable fuel blend’’ means a gasoline blend that contains not less than 11 percent, and not more than 85 percent, renewable fuel …”.  The objective of of that section of the act, and other similar sections, is clearly to shower corporate welfare on E85.

EISA 2007 IS NOT A MANDATORY E10 LAW, yet by the end of this year or early next year all of the gasoline sold in the country will be E10 because of the draconian ethanol production quotas cast in stone in the act.  Talk about unintended consequences.

The only way to avoid further unintended consequences of the federal RFS mandate is to prohibit the blending of ethanol in all premium unleaded gasoline in the U.S. or outright repeal of the RFS section of EISA 2007.  So what about it Ms. Jackson?  Are you really interested in avoiding truly huge unintended consequences?

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WHERE’S THE E15?

February 7, 2011

I’ll bet you are waiting with baited breath for E15 to show up at your corner service station.  So where is it?  The EPA has granted the ethanol lobby’s waiver to allow E15 to be put in cars and light trucks made from 2001 on, which apparently represents about 2/3 of all vehicles on the road.

Could the delay possible stem from three major lawsuits against the EPA for granting a waiver that apparently they don’t have the legal authority to grant?  (NPRA lawsuit here, API lawsuit here and NMMA/auto mfg. lawsuit here)

Or could the delay possibly be that there is no ASTM specification for E15 and many states will not allow the sale of motor fuel without ASTM specification.

Or could the delay be that 21 states have statutes that only allow blending up to E10 to be sold for non flex-fuel vehicles in those state, including California which is the largest gasoline market in the nation.  These laws will have to be changed before E15 can be put into other than a flex-fuel vehicle.

Or maybe it is because the waiver is NOT MANDATORY, it is only voluntary, and the gasoline producers and service station associations said quite clearly in their E15 waiver remarks that unless they were granted immunity from damage claims for E15, they wouldn’t distribute it.

Or possibly it is because of the most ironic reason of all, there are a number of current EPA regulations that are going to have to be changed.

As I have pointed out before, the clock is ticking.  We will reach the blending wall by early next year, at the latest, and E15 was supposed to delay the blending wall.  But all of the reasons cited above will probably take years to sort out.  So if you were really counting on putting E15 into your new car that has no warranty for it, and paying more for less mileage, it would be better to exhale now.