Tulsa World: Inhofe rips EPAs approval of increased ethanol use
October 14, 2010
Posted by Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov
In the News...
Inhofe rips EPA's approval of increased ethanol use
by JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau
Thursday, October 14, 2010
WASHINGTON - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe said Wednesday that a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to allow an increase in ethanol for fuel used in newer vehicles would have little impact on consumers or the marketplace.
"That's because very few of the nation's retailers will actually sell E-15 anytime in the foreseeable future," Inhofe, R-Okla., said, referring to the fuel, which can contain as much as 15 percent ethanol.
"The reasons are straightforward: substantial fuel tank and dispensing infrastructure costs as well as liability issues associated with misfueling and potential engine damage."
Inhofe also said the EPA's action to allow E-15 for vehicles built since the 2007 model year again points to the need for Congress to revise the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act, which includes a mandate for corn-based ethanol.
"EPA's decision today on E-15 is confirmation of what we've known for some time," he said. "The fuels mandate in the 2007 energy law contained serious flaws, which Congress should now address with new legislation."
Inhofe said he would continue to push legislation to allow states to opt out of the ethanol component of the renewable fuels mandate.
"This would allow markets to supply consumers with the fuels they prefer for their cars and trucks," he said. "Congress must act to address the corn-based ethanol blend wall as well as other related problems with the 2007 energy bill."
With that law, he said, Congress doubled the corn-based ethanol mandate despite mounting questions about ethanol's compatibility with existing engines, its transportation and infrastructure needs, its economic sustainability and environmental issues.
The EPA said its action on E-15 fuel represented the first of several moves needed for commercial use of the blend.
"Thorough testing has now shown that E-15 does not harm emissions control equipment in newer cars and light trucks," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said. "Wherever sound science and the law support steps to allow more home-grown fuels in America's vehicles, this administration takes those steps."
The agency said it would wait on additional testing before it decides whether to allow E-15 in model year 2001 to 2006 vehicles.
The EPA won't grant a waiver this year for E-15 use in model year 2000 and older cars and light trucks, motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles or nonroad engines because it has no test data to support that.
Fuel containing as much as 10 percent ethanol, known as E10, has been used since 1979 for all conventional cars and light trucks and nonroad vehicles.
To help consumers identify the correct fuel for their vehicles and equipment, the EPA proposes that pump labels specify the ethanol content of gasoline sold to retailers.
The 2007 law mandated an increase in the overall volume of renewable fuels into the marketplace, reaching 36 billion gallons in 2022.
Ethanol, which is blended with gasoline for use in much of the country, is considered a renewable fuel because it is produced from plant products or wastes and not from fossil fuels.