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Ethanol Fuel Standards Get A Boost From EPA

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On: Wed, Jan 26, 2011 at 8:29AM | By: Sherry Christiansen

Ethanol Fuel Standards Get A Boost From EPA

Back during WWII, Americans were encouraged to start their own Victory Gardens. By growing their own produce they could effectively take the burden off farmers, who needed to send food to the men and women fighting overseas. These gardens were all the rage. Now, new versions of Victory Gardens are cropping up all over as more and more folks are turning to the “organic way of life” to feed their families. One by-product of a home garden could be feeding your car as well. The EPA announced today that they are easing the mixture content on gasoline and ethanol from 10% limit to a boosted 15% limit. Good news for people who want to make more home-grown fuels. Bad news for automakers, so they say.

The basic ingredient in ethanol is corn. There are people who grow their own crops and find ways to convert those kernels into fuel. This past October, the EPA granted the use of E-15 gasoline for cars, SUVs, and light pickup trucks that were made since 2007. Today’s easement of the ethanol limitations now include cars made as early as 2001, which will have been cleared to run on fuel mixtures with up to 15% ethanol.

For the official word, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says, “Today that use of E-15 gasoline would allow more home-grown fuels in America's vehicles without harm to emissions control equipment in cars and light trucks made since 2001.” She went on to state that the fuel had gone through plenty of testing by the U.S. Department of Energy. The EPA will also get into the label business by making sure that any ethanol gas at the pumps will be properly marked.

This news hasn’t gone over big with everyone. “All the data is not in to prove that E-15 won't have a negative effect on any vehicles,” said Mike Stanton, president of the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers. He’s afraid that even with the gas pump labels, car owners may gas up with the E-15 fuel in the wrong cars.

This issue is headed to the court room, as U.S. automakers and engine manufacturers will ask a federal appeals court to order the EPA to “reconsider its earlier ethanol decision on cars made since 2007.” Stanton would like the lawsuit to cover all cars that are affected by this new EPA decision.

On the other side of the proverbial coin, is a group of ethanol fans called Growth Energy. “Increased use of ethanol will strengthen our energy security, create U.S. jobs and improve the environment,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.


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