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E15 mandate would hurt Chicago consumers

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Illinois Petroleum Council (IPC) Executive Director Jim Watson has said that mandating E15 is a bad idea for Chicago’s drivers and station owners, after the finance committee passed the measure on Monday. He urged the city council to reject the misguided policy.

“A mandate forcing Chicago gas stations to sell E15 gasoline could come with a heavy price for consumers and small business owners”, Watson said. “Consumers who use E15 could end up with broken down cars and high repair bills. And since E15 doesn’t qualify for the 20% state sales tax exemption and contains less energy than regular gasoline, filling up with E15 could be more expensive while lowering gas mileage”.

While E10 – gasoline with 10% ethanol – is in widespread use, extensive testing shows that 15% ethanol (E15) can cause engine and fuel system damage, according to Coordinating Research Council’s (CRC) testing. AAA says 95% of vehicles on the road today were not designed to use E15 gasoline, and auto manufacturers have said they will not honour warranties when E15 cause damage.

“Complying with the mandate could cost Chicago gas station owners upwards of US$ 100 000 to install new storage tanks and other equipment”, Watson said. “That’s a huge burden for a sector in which 94% of service stations are independently owned and operated. This is bad government at the expense of Chicago drivers and small businesses”.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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