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Inhofe Says Congress Must Re-examine Problems with 2007 Energy Law

Washington, D.C. - Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, made the following statement today on the decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to issue a waiver allowing gasoline to contain up to 15 percent ethanol (also known as E-15) for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks, while denying E-15 for model year 2000 and older cars and light trucks.  

“EPA’s decision today on E-15 is confirmation of what we’ve known for some time: the fuels mandate in the 2007 energy law contained serious flaws, which Congress should now address with new legislation,” Sen. Inhofe said. “Aside from that, EPA’s action has very little practical impact on consumers or the fuels market.  That’s because very few of the nation’s retailers will actually sell E-15 anytime in the foreseeable future. The reasons are straightforward: substantial fuel tank and dispensing infrastructure costs, as well as liability issues associated with misfueling and potential engine damage.

“Congress must act to address the corn-based ethanol blend wall, as well as other related problems with the 2007 energy bill.  With passage of that bill, 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. 

“I will continue to push my legislation that allows states to opt-out of the corn-based ethanol component of the renewable fuels mandate.  This would allow markets to supply consumers with the fuels they prefer for their cars and trucks.”