E15 won’t conk engines

(Jim Nussle, President of Growth Energy, responds to a letter to the editor in the Washington Times regarding E15)

What is perhaps most egregiously incorrect in “Corn-fueled politics” (Comment & Analysis) is the suggestion that E15 – 15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline – is an untested fuel. That could not be farther from the truth.

There has been more testing of E15 than there has been of any other fuel additive in the history of the Clean Air Act. The Environmental Protection Agency’s role is to determine whether E15 is a suitable fuel for today’s cars and emissions systems, and only after years of testing did the agency approve E15 for cars from 2001 and newer.

Furthermore, exhaustive data by the Department of Energy has proved that engine performance and durability do not suffer from ethanol blends such as E15. Doubters need look no further than Minnesota, a state that mandates the highest allowable blend of ethanol and yet is full of safely operating vehicles, snowmobiles, snowblowers, lawn mowers and countless outboard motors on their 10,000 lakes.

The U.S. ethanol industry is a cutting-edge industry that continues to get cleaner and more energy-efficient every day. But there are many who don’t know the facts and still accept a decades-old image and the misleading rumors as facts. Studies show that moving to higher-level blends, such as E15, will create jobs that can’t be outsourced, reduce harmful emissions in the air and help free us from our addiction to foreign oil. Every year our economy sends a balance of payments of more than $300 billion to foreign economies – many which are either unstable or hostile to the United States – for their oil. Wouldn’t that money be better invested in America, creating jobs?

Having been unable to dispute the overwhelming science in favor of E15, some critics are now turning to cheap scare tactics to turn American consumers against E15. But American motorists should not be fooled. If we truly want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, create jobs and improve our environment, we must increase the use of clean, renewable fuels like ethanol in all of our engines.

JIM NUSSLE, President and chief operating officer, Growth Energy

Washington, DC


Our Take:
We wanted to pass Jim Nussle’s words along as a helpful response to any doubters you may encounter. Of course, Nussle refers to our own experience here in Minnesota, where E10 has been MN’s year-round, statewide gasoline blend since October 1997. E10 was the wintertime gasoline blend in the Twin Cities and other urban centers prior to 1997 as a tool to combat high levels of carbon monoxide, for which those communities were deemed to be in USEPA non-attainment status. We know that engines large and small have operated without difficulty on this fuel. As Nussle points out, E15 is now the most tested fuel in history and all indicators point to E15’s high quality as a fuel.


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