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Tests reveal harm caused by E15

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

New research on the use of ethanol blend gasoline E15 has been released by the Coordinating Research Council (CRC). It has found that E15, gasoline blended with 15% ethanol, would damage millions of post 2001 model year vehicles. The CRC study concluded that E15 would result in fuel system failures.

Comments from the AFPM

‘This latest research is further evidence that E15 is not just an abstract public policy gone wrong; it’s likely to harm everyday consumers,’ said Charles T. Drevna, President of AFPM.

‘While Congress could not have anticipated that the Renewable Fuel Standard would backfire so badly as it has, increasing ethanol concentration in gasoline is not the appropriate response. Doing so will only prolong the shelf life of a policy that has proven unworkable, time and time again. Congress must make it a priority this year to repeal the RFS before millions of motorists are put at risk,’ said Drevna.

Comments from the API

‘The additional E15 testing, completed this month, has identified an elevated incidence of fuel pump failures, fuel system component swelling, and impairment of fuel measurement systems in some of the vehicles tested. E15 could cause erratic and misleading fuel gauge readings or cause faulty check engine light illuminations. It also could cause critical components to break and stop fuel flow to the engines. Failure of these components could result in breakdowns that leave consumers stranded on busy roads and highways. Fuel system component problems did not develop in the CRC test when either E10 or E0 was used. IT is difficult to precisely calculate how many vehicles E15 could harm. That depends on how widely it is used and other factors. But, given the kinds of vehicles tested, it is safe to say that millions could be impacted,’ said Bob Greco, API Group Director of Downstream and Industry Operations.

‘In 2010 and 2011, EPA gave the green light to use E15, in model year 2001 and later cars and some other vehicles. EPA’s action was irresponsible. EPA knew E15 vehicle testing was ongoing but decided not to wait for the results. Why did EPA move forward prematurely? Part of the answer may be the need to raise the permissible concentration level of ethanol so that greater volumes could be used, as required by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard. Most gasoline sold today is an E10 blend, but rising volume requirements under the law can’t be met much longer without going to higher blends. When Congress passed the law, it could not know it was creating this problem. Today we know. The answer is to repeal the RFS before it pubs millions of vehicles and many motorists at risk,’ concluded Greco.

Adapted from various sources by Claira Lloyd.

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