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Group Calls for Congressional Hearings on Ethanol in Gasoline

woman standing beside stalled car
Will 15% ethanol in gasoline lead to increased engine failures?
(cc) Rebekah Pavlovic

Thirty-nine environmental, food, motor vehicle, energy, power equipment, and recreational industry groups today requested House and Senate hearings on a pending Environmental Protection Agency action that could sharply increase the amount of ethanol permitted in gasoline.

In letters to the chairmen and ranking members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the groups, represented by Follow the Science, request the hearings be held in September to question top EPA and Department of Energy officials regarding the safety of a proposal to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline from the current 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15).

EPA has indicated it will make a decision by the end of September on whether to approve E15 in gasoline.

The 39 groups frequently oppose each other on a broad range of policy issues, but have launched a joint campaign calling on Congress to require thorough and objective scientific testing before allowing an increase in the amount of ethanol in gasoline.

Ethanol burns hotter than gasoline and corrodes soft metals, plastics, and rubber. The groups believe more testing is needed to determine how much ethanol is too much for different types of existing engines to use safely without risking engine damage and failure that could leave vehicles stranded and endanger motorists and users of gasoline-powered equipment.

Environmental groups have raised serious questions about harmful environmental effects of ethanol.

The 39 groups are: Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; American Meat Institute; American Petroleum Institute; American Sportfishing Association; Association of International Automobile Manufacturers; Association of Marina Industries; Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society/ESPN Outdoors; Blue Ribbon Coalition; Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.); Center for Coastal Conservation; Coastal Conservation Center; Engine Manufacturers Association; Environmental Working Group; Forest Resources Association; Friends of the Earth; Grocery Manufacturers Association; International Liquid Terminals Association; International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association; Marine Retailers Association of America; Motorcycle Industry Council; National Boating Federation; National Chicken Council; National Marine Distributors Association; National Marine Manufacturers Association; National Meat Association; National Petrochemical & Refiners Association; National Turkey Federation; NATSO – National Association of Truck Stop Operators; Natural Resources Defense Council; Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association; Outdoor Power Equipment Institute; Personal Watercraft Industry Association; Petroleum Marketers Association of America; Sail America; Service Station Dealers of America & Allied Trades; Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council; Southern Environmental Law Center; Specialty Equipment Market Association; and Specialty Vehicle Institute of America.

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