Tuesday the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to rule whether more ethanol can go into the gasoline used for everything from automobiles to boats and snowblowers. The ruling will be the result of a petition filed by Growth Energy to raise the limit on ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15%. Tom Buis, president of Growth Energy says he thinks they made the case.
Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, says, just because the agency can approve higher ethanol content doesn't mean anybody is forced to sell it. Refiners are saying they won't put more ethanol into their gasoline unless Congress gives them protection from potential lawsuits from motorists or consumers who claim the ethanol hurt their engines.
The key legal issue for EPA is whether the higher ethanol content, which causes engines to run hotter, could damage emission controls and increase air pollution. EPA has options including approving E15 for all automobiles, boats and equipment or allowing E15 only for automobiles made since 2004, which have more advanced engines and emission systems.