The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge today by major automakers and other groups to reverse the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s decision regarding E15 fuel.
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The state of Maine is taking a decisive stance against blending ethanol with gasoline, seeking to approve a bill that will ban the fuel if two other New England states pass similar laws.
It isn’t clear what effect E15 will have on cars and in AAA president Robert Darbelnet’s mind, that’s enough to justify halting sales.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finally approved the first applications in making gasoline that contains up to 15 percent ethanol, known as E15.
This comes after much criticism on the use of E15 with the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and the Science Committee in the House of Representatives both stepping in to prevent the additional 5 percent of ethanol use. For over 30 years, ethanol has been blended into gasoline but was limited to 10 percent usage.
The use of E15 will be restricted to vehicles model year 2001 and up and the Obama Administration has set a goal to help fueling station owners install 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years. According to the EPA, before E15 can be sold, “manufactures must first take additional measures to help ensure retail stations and other gasoline distributors understand and implement labeling rules and other E15-related requirements.”
Gas pumps dispensing E15 must be clearly labeled so that consumers can make the right choice when getting gasoline for their vehicle.
The EPA will announce Friday that it has approved the use of E15 gasoline for vehicles made after the year 2000. The EPA previously approved the added ethanol content for vehicles made after 2007 – the new regulations would see the amount of vehicles able to use E15 grow exponentially, and directly benefit American corn farmers, whose crop is used in the production of ethanol.
The increased use of ethanol has been roundly criticized for its effect on food prices (more corn used for fuel causes the price of maize, a staple crop for much of the world, to rise), its environmental impact and the simple fact that most small engines are not designed for a such a concentration of ethanol.
Although ethanol is touted as a “green” fuel, the higher blends of ethanol in gasoline can have the effect burning out the catalytic converters, resulting in higher emissions.
[Source: Left Lane News]