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Lawmaker seeks study of E15 ethanol gasoline blend impacts

US Rep. F. James Sensenbrunner (R-Wis.) introduced a bill on Oct. 14 that would make the US Environmental Protection Agency seek independent scientific analysis of the effects of a 15% ethanol (E15) gasoline blend. Sensenbrunner, who is vice-chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, said the additional study is necessary because EPA relied on a single, narrow US Department of Energy study in its decision to proceed.

“This test was limited in scope and ignored a plethora of evidence—albeit inconvenient evidence for EPA—that shows E15 gasoline has a negative effect on engines,” the lawmaker said. “I introduced this legislation to ensure a decision of this magnitude will be vetted by independent scientific research, rather than political expediency.”

He said HR3199 would make EPA seek independent, scientific analysis of E15’s effects on vehicles and engines, including an evaluation of short and long-term environmental, safety, and performance effects on onroad and offroad vehicle engines.

Sensenbrunner noted that when he asked 14 automakers about E15’s effects on their products, the manufacturers responded that the higher blend would void warranties, damage engines, and lower fuel efficiency. Congressional testimony indicated that EPA has not adequately acted to prevent misfueling, even though E15 has been proven dangerous when used in boats, lawnmowers and other offroad engines, he added.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.


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