The EPA is getting ever closer to approving E15 for use in 2001 and newer vehicles. In the last few days, several lobby groups have convinced politicians to make sure that gasoline stations don't have liability and are somewhat immune from responsibility over their customers improperly filling their vehicles.
What's that mean? If you accidentally fill up with E15 in your older vehicle because the sign is too small or you aren't keen enough to see what you're pumping, you can't hold the gas stations liable for that small sign or warning.
It's another sign that the renewable fuel industry continues to lobby on their own behalf instead of doing what motorists desire, which according to recent GasBuddy polls, is doing anything but adding more ethanol to gasoline.
In a recent GasBuddy poll, 77.5% of respondents indicated they don't want any more ethanol in their gasoline. On the flip side, just 13.9% said they wanted more ethanol in their gasoline. The remaining 8.6% were not sure what they wanted.
After it a deal with the EPA was announced, the AFPM released a statement saying the EPA was being responsible in regards to E15. Their statement said, "Unfortunately, today's EPA announcement represents yet another in the agency's unwise, premature and irresponsible series of actions in its rush to force E15 to the marketplace. EPA's hasty attempts to speed introduction of E15 before necessary testing is complete could endanger the safety of American consumers, threatening their vehicles and gasoline-powered equipment with possibly severe damage. This action is more about political science than real science because it is designed to protect the ethanol industry rather than the American people.
"This decision is particularly troubling, since recent information released by the Coordinating Research Council shows failures when using E15 in vehicles approved by EPA. With a lawsuit by AFPM and other organizations on this critical issue about to be heard, there is no reason for EPA to have rushed to judgment and acted so recklessly."
The Domestic Fuels Act of 2012, a bipartisan bill introduced March 30 in both houses of Congress, includes a provision that would make it illegal for a retailer to be held responsible for damages that could occur as a result of misfueling by consumers, so long as the retailer has complied with the U.S. EPA’s misfueling regulations. The proposed legislation would protect retailers against potential liability should consumers use E15 in small engines, vehicles produced earlier than model year 2001, or in any other nonapproved engine and would also prevent retailers from being held liable if the consumer’s use of a fuel voids the vehicle/small engine warranty (according to Ethanol Producer Magazine)
My question is this- why do we continue to push ethanol when it continues to put upward pressure on corn and thus food prices? Why do we use ethanol if it achieves less energy, and thus lower fuel economy than 100% conventional gasoline?
Let your congressmen and women know you aren't happy. Not only are motorists losing the ability to hold stations responsible for E15 problems, but we may be getting forced to fill with E15 in the near future.