IBJNews

EPA moves closer to approval of 15-percent ethanol gas

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The federal government announced Monday it has taken a step toward wide distribution of fuel containing 85 percent gasoline and 15 percent ethanol by allowing manufacturers to register as suppliers.

While the EPA is moving the process forward by allowing the registration, E15 still must clear another set of federal tests and become a registered fuel in individual states. Ethanol makers then must convince petroleum marketers to sell it at gas stations.

Most ethanol fuel sold for passenger cars and pickups today is 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gas. The new blend that boosts ethanol to 15 percent would only be sold for use in 2001 and newer vehicles.

The 20 ethanol makers that have registered to sell E15 so far include large corn ethanol manufacturers like Archer Daniels Midland Co., based in Decatur, Ill., and Cargill Inc., which has headquarters in Wayzata, Minn. Four corn ethanol makers in Iowa, the nation's leading corn producing state, also registered.

Others are based in Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.

The industry trade group Renewable Fuels Association said the EPA's move is the most significant in a three-year effort to get E15 approved for the market and Midwestern states that have started the regulatory process could see E15 for sale as early as this summer.

"Our nation needs E15 to reduce our dependence on foreign oil — it will keep gas prices down at the pump and help to end the extreme fluctuations in gas prices caused by our reliance on fuel from unstable parts of the world," said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, another ethanol industry trade group.

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers has challenged the government's efforts to offer E15 in court, and president Charles Drevna issued a statement saying with a lawsuit pending, the EPA should not rush E15 to market.

Drevna also said hasty introduction of E15 could endanger American consumers and damage their vehicles and gasoline-powered equipment.

Fuel with higher ethanol content can damage engines not equipped with upgraded rubber parts, gaskets and other fittings. Many opponents worry that although E15 would not be approved for older vehicles, boats, lawnmowers and other small engines, consumers may mistakenly use it.

Nathanael Greene, director of renewable energy policy for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said encouraging more corn production to boost ethanol use is not an environmentally sound idea.

"We need to be using our land very judiciously if we're going to feed a growing population," Greene said. "Corn ethanol is not efficient enough to be directly in competition with food."

The Obama administration has set a goal to help gas station owners install 10,000 blender pumps over the next five years. The government also has provided grants, loans and loan guarantees to push the use of biofuels.

The EPA said Monday's action followed an extensive technical review required by law, and testing by the Department of Energy and other organizations has shown E15 is compatible with engines in model the year 2001 and newer.

It made clear it is not requiring the use or sale of E15 and said gas pumps dispensing E15 will be clearly labeled so consumers can make the right choice.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Methanol
    Not sure if the statement regarding hemp is accurate, but methanol and ethanol are very diffrent fuels. No engines in wide use today are designed to run on methanol. Additionally, methanol is corrosive to engines.
  • Bad Milage Fix
    You will get over 40% less mileage on your vehicle with E-85. Check the EPA specifications or the window sticker for Flex-fuel vehicles. There must be a better way to cut down on oil usage.
  • Hemp
    'more potent' in terms of organic biofuel production would be allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp... Unfortunately, this scares the heck out (eg makes them pad the coffers of their lobby firms to make sure it never happens) the textile, paper, and corn/ethanol producers. Hemp can produce 10x the amount of methanol corn can. Manufacturing/agriculture jobs? Let
    s get our heads out of the sand on the subj matter of hemp and produce the heck out of this cash crop to help w/ our dependencies on foreign imports.
  • Ethanol is good
    Ethanol has taken some bad press lately, but I still favor it. I'm hoping we can move away from Corn Ethanol to other crops more potent and a better fit with food growth.

    It is very important to have an infrastructure to sustainably grow our own fuel. With continued research and testing biofuels will only get more efficient, inexpensive and increase our energy independence.

    Post a comment to this story

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT

    facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
    Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
     
    Subscribe to IBJ
    1. I am a Lyft driver who is a licensed CDL professional driver. ALL Lyft drivers take pride in providing quality service to the Indianapolis and surrounding areas, and we take the safety of our passengers and the public seriously.(passengers are required to put seat belts on when they get in our cars) We do go through background checks, driving records are checked as are the personal cars we drive, (these are OUR private cars we use) Unlike taxi cabs and their drivers Lyft (and yes Uber) provide passengers with a clean car inside and out, a friendly and courteous driver, and who is dressed appropriately and is groomed appropriately. I go so far as to offer mints, candy and/or small bottle of water to the my customers. It's a mutual respect between driver and passenger. With Best Regards

    2. to be the big fish in the little pond of IRL midwest racin' when yer up against Racin' Gardner

    3. In the first sentance "As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss are build quality & price." need a way to edit

    4. As a resident of one of these new Carmel Apartments the issue the local governments need to discuss is build quality & price. First none of these places is worth $1100 for a one bedroom. Downtown Carmel or Keystone at the Crossing in Indy. It doesn't matter. All require you to get in your car to get just about anywhere you need to go. I'm in one of the Carmel apartments now where after just 2.5 short years one of the kitchen cabinet doors is crooked and lawn and property maintenance seems to be lacking my old Indianapolis apartment which cost $300 less. This is one of the new star apartments. As they keep building throughout the area "deals" will start popping up creating shoppers. If your property is falling apart after year 3 what will it look like after year 5 or 10??? Why would one stay here if they could move to a new Broad Ripple in 2 to 3 years or another part of the Far Northside?? The complexes aren't going to let the "poor" move in without local permission so that's not that problem, but it the occupancy rate drops suddenly because the "Young" people moved back to Indy then look out.

    5. Why are you so concerned about Ace hardware? I don't understand why anyone goes there! Every time ive gone in the past, they don't have what I need and I end up going to the big box stores. I understand the service aspect and that they try to be helpful but if they are going to survive I think they might need to carry more specialty parts.

    ADVERTISEMENT