As prepared for delivery
Press briefing teleconference on E15 CRC auto study
Jack Gerard, API president and CEO
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Good morning everyone. Thanks for calling in.
Mike Stanton, President and CEO of Global Automakers, and Mitch Bainwol, President and CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, also are on the call. I’ll start with brief comments. Mike and Mitch will follow with their own statements. Then together we’ll take your questions.
EPA’s decisions in 2010 and 2011 approving E15 ethanol-gasoline blends for most American vehicles were premature and irresponsible. EPA approved E15 knowing ongoing vehicle testing had not been completed. Worse, as API noted in its press briefing two weeks ago, it approved the fuel even though government labs had raised red flags about the compatibility of E15 with much of the dispensing and storage infrastructure at our nation’s gas stations.
Today, the results of just completed engine testing of E15 by the Coordinating Research Council confirm that EPA did not perform due diligence and moved too quickly in its E15 vetting process. The tests provide strong evidence E15 could damage the engines of many cars and light trucks. The council, known as the CRC, is a non-profit research and testing organization made up of the automobile and oil companies.
Not all vehicles in the CRC tests showed engine damage, but engine types that did are found in millions of cars and light duty trucks now on America’s roads.
The value of these vehicles along with the value of vulnerable gasoline dispensing equipment at the nation’s 157,000 gasoline service stations could run into many billions of dollars.
EPA’s waivers put these investments at risk. The result could be more vehicle repairs for consumers and upward pressure on gasoline prices.
EPA cites DOE catalyst research to justify its E15 waivers. But catalysts are just one part of a vehicle that would come in contact with E15. While EPA had once supported more comprehensive testing similar to what the CRC has been doing, including engine testing, it ignored the CRC test programs.
Ironically, EPA’s decisions actually threaten broader use of biofuels. Federal law requires blending of increasing amounts of biofuels in gasoline, and most of the gasoline now sold in America has ethanol in it.
Yet, if E15 is introduced and vehicle problems develop, public support for E15 and the federal renewable fuels program could erode.
Back in 2011 API and others filed suit to reverse EPA’s waivers, in a case that’s now before the appellate court. The test results we’re announcing today should make clear to everyone that our concerns were valid.
Thank you. Now Mike Stanton will provide his perspective.