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.