Ethanol lobbyists to petition EPA to raise limit in gasoline to 15%

An ethanol lobbying group urged the US Environmental Protection Agency on March 6 to raise the limit on the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline to 15% from 10%. A coalition of trade associations immediately responded that a thorough scientific review should be completed first.

Raising the level would create 136,101 new jobs and inject $24.4 billion into the US economy annually, according to an economic report released by the group, Growth Energy. "Increasing the ethanol blend up to E-15 is a common sense solution to our economic, energy and environmental challenges," said Wesley Clark, a retired US Army general who became Growth Energy's co-chairman in February.

He said that the group would submit a formal request for a waiver to EPA. The federal agency needs only to determine that ethanol blends up to 15% of gasoline's total volume will not affect vehicles' emission control systems to approve the request, Clark said.

But the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association and 12 other organizations and trade associations said that a thorough, science-based review is necessary to make certain that a higher ethanol blend doesn't damage motor vehicle and equipment engines, fuel-handing systems, storage tanks, and pollution control and safety equipment.

"To date, there has not been sufficient testing of motor vehicle and non-road equipment engines, such as outdoor power equipment and marine engines, to determine whether any mid-level ethanol blend would meet current federal air quality protection requirements or be safe for consumers to use," the groups jointly said.

Consumer safety concerns

"In fact, existing test results suggest that mid-level ethanol blends may not only be incompatible with most of today's vehicle and non-road equipment engines, but may actually lead to increases in emissions from these engines over their lifetimes. These test results also raise significant consumer safety concerns, as mid-level ethanol blends may defeat engine safety features and may contribute to engine unreliability and malfunction," they continued.

Growth Energy's petition would come after Congress dropped a similar provision from the Obama administration's economic stimulus package in February before sending it to the White House for the president's signature.

Nineteen organizations, ranging from some of the nation's leading environmental groups to engine and equipment manufacturers and including the American Lung Association and NPRA, asked US Senate leaders in a Feb. 5 letter to reject efforts to raise the ethanol level in gasoline.

"The adoption of such a provision would short-circuit the established and time-tested Clean Air Act regulatory structure for approving the introduction of new fuels and fuel blends into commerce, lead to increased air emissions from gasoline-powered engines, and potentially endanger consumers using those engines," they said in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)

Clark and others at Green Energy's press conference said that ethanol has proven that it can be safely used in gasoline-powered engines since EPA first approved its use. "Vehicle fuel systems have been upgraded over the last 30 years to meet US regulations by rigorous testing against aggressive laboratory test results. These upgrades began in the '80s, which makes virtually all of the US legacy fleet fully capable of handling this relatively small change in marketplace fuel," said Michael Harrigan, a former Ford engineer who is an independent automotive consultant.

The group said that in addition to the economic benefits cited in its study, raising the allowable ethanol level in gasoline to 15% would reduce US imports of foreign oil by 7 billion gallons yearly, cut greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 10.5 million vehicles from the road, and create a market for second-generation biofuels.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com

Related Articles

Oil forecasts need a new asterisk for supply instability

02/13/2015

Do projections of worldwide oil supply need another asterisk?

BOEM publishes second final SEIS for 2008 Chukchi Sea lease sale

02/13/2015 The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management published a fresh supplemental environmental impact statement for a Chukchi Sea federal oil and gas sale o...

BHI: US rig count continues 11-week dive, loses 98 more units

02/13/2015

The US drilling rig count plunged 98 units to settle at 1,358 rigs working during the week ended Feb. 13, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

Lukoil lets contract for Uzbekistan gas processing plant

02/13/2015 Russia’s OAO Lukoil has let a contract to a consortium headed by South Korea’s Hyundai Engineering Co. Ltd., Seoul, for the construction of its lon...

Vaalco reports results from Etame 10-H development well

02/13/2015 Vaalco Energy Inc., Houston, reported start of production from its Etame 10-H development well, the second such well drilled from the recently inst...

Horn Petroleum to reduce Puntland exploration program

02/13/2015 Horn Petroleum Corp., Vancouver, BC, will reduce its presence in Bosaso, Puntland (Somalia), and will “refrain from any operational activity and as...

Birol named to IEA executive director post

02/13/2015 The International Energy Agency’s governing board confirmed the appointment of Fatih Birol as the agency’s next executive director. Birol succeeds ...

Partners submit Johan Sverdrup development plan

02/13/2015 Partners Statoil ASA, Lundin Petroleum AB, Petoro, Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA, and Maersk Oil have submitted a plan for development and operation (...

Mangalore refinery reports steady operations following expansion

02/13/2015 Operations are proceeding smoothly at Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd.’s (MRPL) refinery in Mangalore, India, following the recent comp...
White Papers

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts


OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

When Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

When Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected