EPA Sued over E15
Groups claim E15 has not been proven safe
Nine food and farm groups, along with the American Petroleum Institute, are suing the Environmental Protection Agency over its decision to approve the use of E15, a mixture of gasoline and ethanol, in cars made in 2007 or later. E15 was approved for use before safety testing was completed, and as a result the groups claim that the EPA's decision violates the Clean Air Act and puts consumers at risk.
The maximum amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline was 10% until last month when the EPA approved E15, allowing a fuel composition of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. Advocates of E15 point out that using more ethanol and less gasoline to fuel vehicles reduces the amount of foreign oil that the U.S. must import and helps keep jobs from being shipped overseas. The fuel's detractors, however, feel that it has not been sufficiently tested. In addition to the food and farm groups suing the EPA, some motorcycle, car, and off-road vehicle manufacturers worry that ethanol may damage parts used in older fuel systems and engines.
In response to these concerns, EPA Press Secretary Betsaida Alcantara cited testing done on 19 car models that showed that E15 is safe. She says that the agency is confident that it can overcome any legal challenges. Results from Department of Energy testing on the impact of E15 in cars made between 2001 and 2006 are expected later this month, and the agency will make a decision regarding the use of E15 in older vehicles at that time.