US ethanol industry to fight E15 blend ban for older cars

15 June 2010 16:36  [Source: ICIS news]

ST LOUIS, Missouri (ICIS news)--A likely exclusion of older cars from an increase in allowable ethanol blends in gasoline will be fought because the ban would create confusion among US consumers and resistance from service station owners, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said on Tuesday.

RFA president Bob Dinneen said he was confident the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would soon approve an increase in the cap on ethanol to 15% (E15) from the current 10%.

"But even when EPA approves E15, our work is only just beginning," Dinneen told the annual Fuel Ethanol Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri.

EPA appeared to be heading down a path that would limit the use of E15 to only those vehicles made in 2001 or later, or around half the existing US fleet, he said.

Dinneen maintained that there was "not one scintilla" of data to support the exclusion of older vehicles, but said the ethanol industry needed to be ready to challenge whatever testing was done to support the EPA's expected decision.

"Few retailers will be willing to offer 15% blends if it requires additional infrastructure investment or creates confusion at the pump for which they might be liable," Dinneen said.

The ethanol industry has been pushing hard for an increase in the blend cap because production of the biofuel has saturated the existing domestic market, forcing a jump in US exports of ethanol.

An increase in the blend cap has been opposed by the oil industry and also by car manufacturers, due to concerns over warranty liability if the higher ethanol content in gasoline cased engine problems.

For more on ethanol visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Stephen Burns
+1 713 525 2653

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.

Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.

Printer Friendly