EPA Has Done 'Inadequate Job' on Answering E15 Challenges

Agency's ethanol regs pose serious safety, environmental concerns for consumers: API

WASHINGTON -- In a conference call with reporters today, the American Petroleum Institute (API) downstream group director Bob Greco discussed a new analysis of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's regulations to allow higher amounts of ethanol in gasoline (E15), which showed that "an estimated half of all gasoline station equipment is not compatible with E15" and said that this could result in serious safety and environmental problems for consumers.

"EPA continues to move forward with its decision to approve the use of 15% ethanol in gasoline, even though testing to date shows this higher concentration would not be fully compatible with much of the dispensing and storage infrastructure at our nation's gas stations," Greco said.

"Adding these fuels into our gasoline supplies could result in damaged equipment, safety problems and environmental impacts at our gas stations--to say nothing about car engines--and it could even erode support for the nation's renewable fuels program," he added.

Greco said that the group recently completed a review of studies on equipment compatibility with E15, and the results were "sobering." He said that an estimated half of the existing retail outlet equipment is not compatible with E15.

"Unfortunately, it may be hard for a station to know whether its equipment is or isn't compatible, which could discourage many of the nation's 157,000 gasoline retail outlets from selling E15," he said. "Without a market for the higher ethanol blends, Congress' biofuels mandate could result in higher compliance costs or production constraints that could place upward pressure on gasoline prices for consumers."

Concluded Greco: "EPA has done an inadequate job of answering the many challenges surrounding E15, in particular dispensing equipment and other infrastructure implications."

Click here to view his complete remarks.

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