Ethanol industry sees red over E15 warning label

BY PHILIP BRASHER & DAN PILLER

The bright orange warning label that the government is proposing for E15 pumps has angered some in the ethanol industry.

Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, says the label is going to scare motorists from putting the fuel even in cars where it’s permitted.

“I don’t think anyone with a straight face would say this label would do anything except reduce the amount of E15 sold, even in applications where it’s allowed,” he said.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced two weeks ago that it was allowing the use of gasoline containing up to 15 percent ethanol in 2007 and newer cars and trucks. At the same time, the EPA proposed regulations, including the warning label, to ensure that the fuel isn’t put in other vehicles.

Shaw questions the label’s truthfulness because of the sentence that says the “fuel might damage other vehicles.” The government is still studying the impact on models from 2001 to 2006 and isn’t doing any research on vehicles older than 2001, so there’s no basis to say that E15 might damage cars older than 2007 models, Shaw said. “That is a flat-out unsupportable statement that is very prejudicial,” he said.

The ethanol content of gas used in conventional cars and trucks has been restricted to 10 percent until now.

Read the full article:
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20101024/BUSINESS01/10240336/-1/BUSINESS04/Ethanol-industry-sees-red-over-E15-warning-label

Our Take:
The EPA’s thinly veiled animosity towards ethanol jumps out into plain view here.

Clearly, the whole idea of marketing E15 to only one segment of the conventional gasoline-engine motoring public is misguided at best. That EPA proposes it shows that either they have no idea how the retail marketing of fuel actually happens or they are just plain trying to throw a wrench in the works.

There is no scientific basis for distinguishing 2007 model cars from 2006-model cars or earlier, just as there was no scientific basis for setting the ethanol blend level at ten percent in the first place.

They are playing to the prejudices of people who have been misinformed and have decided that ethanol will harm their engines despite a complete lack of proof for this misnomer.

We need real leadership to step in and get E15 allowed in fueling sites for all vehicles operated on American roads. If Brazil can make E24 its regular unleaded gasoline, then America can kick it up to E15.

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