Group requests science-based review of ethanol blends

WASHINGTON — Representatives of various health, environmental, food production and manufacturing groups have called for the Environmental Protection Agency to initiate a science-based review of a petition to increase the level of ethanol allowed in gasoline.

Ethanol manufacturers want the EPA to increase the maximum level of ethanol in gasoline, while the concerned coalition of 13 organizations and trade associations worries that more alcohol could cause damage to motor vehicle and equipment engines, fuel handling systems, storage tanks, and pollution control and safety equipment.

The group includes the Association of Marina Industries, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Boat Owners Association of the United States.

“American motorists and consumers cannot afford to have EPA’s decision on whether to permit the use of ethanol blends higher than 10 percent in motor vehicle and smaller engines be guided by any factor other than sound and unbiased science,” the coalition said in a recent release.

The group says it welcomes an open and science-based study of the use of mid-level ethanol blends in an array of products, as long as the research is done in a transparent way.

“Consideration of an increase in the current federal legal limit on blending ethanol into gasoline must be undertaken through an open, public and transparent process that takes into account both the increased air pollution that will result from the use of higher ethanol blends in many engines and the potential risks to consumers of driving vehicles or handling engines fueled with these blends," the coalition said. "Such transparency will ensure that all points of view, not just the interests of the promoters of mid-level ethanol blends, will be taken into account by EPA before deciding whether to permit these higher blends to be sold to consumers.”

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The coalition includes: the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Marina Industries, the Boat Owners Association of the United States, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Engine Manufacturers Association, the Environmental Working Group, The Hispanic Institute, International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, the Motorcycle Industry Council, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America.

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