US industry groups ask EPA to delay higher ethanol blends

05 May 2010 23:02  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Three US industry groups on Wednesday called on the government to keep the ethanol blending limit in gasoline unchanged at 10% until more testing on vehicle and engine performance is completed.

“Testing for engine and vehicle compatibility and environmental issues is scheduled for completion in 2011,” said Coleman Jones, biofuels implementation manager for General Motors, a member of the Auto Alliance.

That group, along with the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, was asking the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to delay action on a request by the US ethanol industry to move the blend level to 15% (E15).

The EPA is expected to make an announcement in July. The agency hinted in the past it was leaning towards approving the higher blend.

“There’s no need for precipitous action when the scientific results are so close at hand,” Coleman said in a joint statement with the other two groups.

Higher levels of ethanol have not been proven safe or effective based on preliminary results, the statement read.

The US ethanol industry has disputed that claim, arguing E15 is safe and should be approved as soon as government testing on catalytic converters is completed in coming months.

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By: William Lemos
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