AAA: Obama EPA Must Not Approve E15
by Breitbart News
30 Nov 2012
The Obama administration EPA is eager to press forward with beginning the sale of E15, an ethanol-based fuel source. Only one problem: AAA, the 53 million member travel group, says that the fuel source erodes engines. E10 has already been approved for market, but E15 has a higher percentage of ethanol. About 12 million light-duty vehicles can use E15; GM and Ford have greenlit E15 for new model vehicles.
AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet says, “It is clear that millions of Americans are unfamiliar with E15, which means there is a strong possibility that many motorists may improperly fill up using this gasoline and damage their vehicle. … The sale and use of E15 should be suspended until additional gas pump labeling and consumer education efforts are implemented to mitigate problems for motorists and their vehicles.”
Why AAA imagines the EPA gives a @#$% about consumers’ cars possibly being destroyed, I don’t know. Lest anyone think AA exaggerates the scope of this problem, one of the best-selling models in the US is the Toyota Corolla. My 2011 Corolla has a sticker at the filler that explicitly says that the vehicle should not use gasoline with a higher ethanol content than E10. The issue is real. Complicating things is the fact that gas stations usually sell three grades of gas - Regular, Mid-Grade and Premium. This is a limitation that extends from the number of pumps into number of underground tanks the station has. Your local Conoco or Unocal station cannot add a 4th grade of gasoline at the stroke of a bureaucrat’s pen! And does anyone believe selling E15 won’t be mandatory, either from the outset or after a short cut-in period? So, which of the three grades goes away? Regular? Mid-Grade (needed by some higher performance vehicles)? Whether Regular is eliminated (forcing most customers to switch to higher-priced Mid-Grade) or Mid-Grade (forcing those customers to use the even pricier Premium), it’s a huge government-mandated price increase on gasoline. Actually, it’s a double price increase, as consumers’ gas mileage will drop significantly (my son recently spent several months in a state whose gasoline contains less ethanol and other additives; his gas mileage went up ~20% and remained there while he was in that state; it went back down when he got back to using CA blend gas).