Skip to comments.Fuel industry pushes to keep high-ethanol blends off the market
Posted on 08/20/2012 3:07:16 PM PDT by jazusamo
The head of a top fuel industry group wants Congress to take action that he says would protect consumers by keeping a more corrosive blend of gasoline off the market.
American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) President Charles Drevna told The Hill on Monday that a U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia decision last week will put consumers at risk. The court upheld Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that let gas stations offer fuel with a higher ethanol content.
Auto companies say the higher-blend ethanol fuel is more destructive to engines and is not covered by many consumers' battery warranties.
In ruling that the EPA could let retailers offer E15 fuel a mix of 15 percent ethanol to 85 percent gasoline if they take proper measures to inform drivers of the risks to their cars, Drevna says the court failed to acknowledge that the blend is not suitable for most vehicles on the road.
Decisions have to be made now. EPA was totally off base certifying a fuel that is incompatible with engines today, Drevna said. We dont believe that putting a 4-square inch sticker on a gasoline pump that will warn consumers about misfueling is going to be effective. Misfueling is going to be inevitable.
The court decision lets drivers fill cars made in the model year 2001 or later with E15 fuel, which covers two-thirds of the cars on the road today. Gas retailers, such as convenience stores, will need to properly label the pumps to inform customers about the gasoline. Fuel marketers and refiners will need to register their blends with EPA.
Biofuels proponents say auto industry criticism of the E15 fuel is overblown.
They label the opposition as petroleum producers straining to shield the marketplace from outsiders. Biofuels industry groups also say E15 will help bolster research in other advanced fuels, a step supported by many lawmakers.
Drevna on Monday criticized the court decision as well as the renewable fuel standard (RFS), which he said is the main driver for E15.
The RFS requires refiners to blend 15 billion gallons of corn ethanol and 21 billion gallons of advanced biofuels those made from non-food products into traditional fuel by 2022.
Drevna took aim at Congress for expanding the RFS in a 2007 energy law, the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), saying that it created artificial demand for biofuels. He said refiners will now be obligated through the court ruling to churn out E15 blends even though there is no commercial market for advanced biofuels.
What does the refiner do? Do they comply with EISA 07 and risk customer outrage, or do we say, You know what, Congress, we cant comply with this without putting the consumer at risk. What are you going to do about this? Drevna said.
The market for E15 appears limited. Just one filling station in the country offers it, and many gasoline retailers fear they would be held liable for engine damage.
Drevna said AFPM will start contacting lawmakers when they return from recess. He added that they will talk to the consumers, but would not specify what that might entail. He also said there are a range of legal options to consider.
Theres a lot of avenues that we have out there to let people know that were on their side, said Drevna.
He said he hoped that the issue would help spotlight this whole ethanol fallacy thats been foisted on the American consumer over the last years.
The proponents try to paint this picture of Grant Woods American Gothic out there when we all know its far from that, said Drevna.
E15 will destroy all but (surprise) the flex-fuel vehicles made by GM.
Gee, I wonder why they’re pushing this.
It does seem like another trick by the turkey in the WH to get more gas powered vehicles off the road and increase his goal of more EV’s.
Ethanol is a proven loser as a consumer vehicle fuel. We need to just stop this foolishness.
some SOB at the EPA owes me a weed eater!.
as God is my witness I will make it right!
Aren’t most FlexFuel vehicles made by GM Trucks and large SUV’s (i.e Tahoe, etc.)?
And a number of midsize (and other) sedans.
Therenis one little problem with FlexFuel. It can deal with E85. It can deal with E10. The firmware can not deal with anything in between. The engine computer has to adjust air-fuel ratios and timing.
Chrysler makes them also.
You're not alone FRiend, mine died about 2 years after I bought it and it still looks new but won't run, probably used it less than 40 times.
Ethanol mandates have the effect of forcing fuel blenders to pay whatever it takes to secure enough ethanol for the fuels they sell. The pass-through means that other users of grains used for bio-fuels (mainly corn) have to bid against this elephant in the marketplace.
Further, it means that the price of corn is tied to the various benchmark prices for oil. The tie-in being the value of the energy therein. Since corn is traded on open markets worldwide and is fungible, the price of corn to an Egyptian peasant will only go higher.
Congress, the enviros and the farmers who push and support ethanol mandates are doing the world economy grievous harm. They each have their own reasons, but the enviros are the ones who make me sick due to their sanctimonious attitude and about how much the claim to care for humanity.
Not quite. The software will adjust to anyhting up to 85% (acutally a little higher). Main reason is because the average E85 user will fill up with different blends from time to time.
Is there any chance at all that someone will ask Obama an ethanol related question during the presidential debates? Or will we only get questions about Romney’s tax returns and gay marriage?
Look on eBay for fuel lines.
There’s a guy in Buffalo that sells the good stuff.
The OEM stuff is from China and it turns into mush quickly in the presence of alky.
Thank you, will do and much appreciated.
mowreystown, ohio (not buffalo, sorry)
This guys ratings looks great, glad to find someone like him. Thanks again!
The owner’s manuals of my Honda Pilot (2003) and Kia Sorento (2013) specify a gasoline mix no greater than 10% ethanol. If only GM flex fuel vehicles can use the 15%+, that’s too few to require all those gas stations to put in more pumps and tanks. Leave private industry and private businesses alone as we consumers end up paying more for what big government mandates.
So does Ford.