Ethanol blend decision delayed

Just like the FDA delayed its decision about bisphenol-A, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also delayed its decision on whether to raise the allowable ethanol content in fuel which is currently at a maximum of 10%.

The EPA said it will make a final determination in mid-2010 when more testing data is available. The agency said it has also begun the process to craft the labeling requirements that will be necessary if the blending limit is raised.

The ethanol industry group Growth Energy send a waiver request to the EPA last March asking for an increase of up to 15% ethanol content in gasoline. The EPA was required to respond to the waiver request by today.

In a statement, Growth Energy said it was optimistic about the EPA’s soon-to-come decision.

“This announcement is a strong signal that we are preparing to move to E15, a measure that will create 136,000 new U.S. jobs, cut greenhouse gas emissions and lessen America’s dependence on imported oil,” said Gen. Wesley Clark, Co-Chairman of Growth Energy

The Renewable Fuel Association (RFA) stated that the delay in EPA’s decision could paralyze investments in advancing bio-ethanol technologies.

“The EPA should immediately approve intermediate ethanol blends, such as E12. Allowing for a 20 percent increase in ethanol’s potential share of the market would provide some breathing room for the industry while EPA finishes its testing on E15. Additionally, it would represent a good faith gesture that underscores the commitment President Obama has pledged to biofuels.” – RFA

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