The E15 Ethanol Controversy Rages On


Green Car Reports - March 1, 2013

Debate over the slow roll­out and poten­tially dam­ag­ing effects of gaso­line with 15 per­cent ethanol blended in just con­tin­ues to roll on.

Find out what is involved in the con­tro­versy and what’s at stake.

The lat­est to pile on are mem­bers of the Sci­ence Com­mit­tee in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, which held a hear­ing [last week] on the progress of EPA efforts to roll out E15.

As reported in The Detroit News, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Chris Stew­art [R-UT] slammed the EPA for a “hap­haz­ard tran­si­tion” toward more wide­spread E15 availability.

Stew­art said the EPA hadn’t han­dled the deci­sion to approve E15 cor­rectly, and that the agency’s efforts had been marked by “reg­u­la­tory con­fu­sion, bun­gled imple­men­ta­tion, and a lack of con­sumer education.”

While some new cars are now built to accept E15 blends–our recent 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid said right on its gas cap that blends up to E15 could be used–not all of them are.

Chrysler, for one, has not mod­i­fied its 2013 model cars to accept E15, and it’s not alone.

But with the pow­er­ful AAA com­ing out force­fully against E15 last Decem­ber, the debate looks likely to rage on.

For sev­eral years now, the U.S. indus­try has failed to pro­duce enough cel­lu­losic ethanol to com­ply with require­ments in the 2007 Energy Inde­pen­dence and Secu­rity Act, which man­dates that increas­ing vol­umes of ethanol be incor­po­rated into U.S. vehi­cle fuel.