Government Delays Decision on Ethanol Content

The Environmental Protection Agency was scheduled to make a ruling today on whether it would allow an increase of ethanol content in gasoline. The delay is due to the EPA needing more time to study the effects higher ethanol content has on engine components.

“We are confident the ongoing tests will further confirm the data we submitted in the Growth Energy Green Jobs Waiver and silence those critics,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. The increased ethanol content would allow “more American-produced energy to enter the market.”

The current ratio for standard gasoline is a 90, 10 mix of gasoline and ethanol. The proposed change would increase the ethanol content to 15 percent. The EPA is receiving pressure from U.S. farmers to increase the amount of ethanol permitted in gasoline. Ethanol can be made from corn.

The proposed E15 (15-percent ethanol) mix “will likely be able to accommodate” vehicles made after 2001. The question then remains whether cars older than 2001 models will be compatible with the new mix. Ethanol, known for its corrosive properties, may harm fuel system delivery components of vehicles not designed to accommodate different blends.

The EPA will do further testing and expects to make a decision by June of next year.

Source: Reuters