Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted June 20, 2013
Motorcyclists and antique car enthusiasts rallied at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, pressing their call that there be independent testing of the effects of E15 fuel in motorcycles and all-terrain vehicle engines before E15 can be sold at retail gasoline stations.
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is concerned about the potential for inadvertent misfueling with E15 and engine damage that could result. Members of the Antique Automobile Club of America also participated, concerned about the effects of E15 on classic cars. The “E15: Food for Thought” rally included a ride around the Capitol and visits to the offices of individual members of Congress.
Posted May 30, 2013
One of the frequent arguments from ethanol supporters is that the United States should simply follow the lead of Brazil and use a lot more ethanol in our fuel supply. Indeed, Vice President Joe Biden was full of praise for Brazil during remarks in Rio de Janeiro this week:
“You’re tapping your enormous natural resources, but also getting a greater share of your energy from clean and renewable energy sources than any other country in the world. The rest of the world looks at you with envy, at the progress you’ve made. The hemisphere has much to learn from your experience.”
Posted May 20, 2013
Time to set the record straight on EPA’s premature approval of E15 fuel for the marketplace – necessitated by EPA administrator nominee Gina McCarthy’s recent inaccurate and misleading responses to Senate questions about E15 testing. McCarthy was asked:
“Was EPA aware of ongoing (Coordinating Research Council) testing on engine durability, fuel pumps and other engine components? Why not wait until that test was complete before making a decision? Because in the aftermath it looks like the decision was, at best, premature. The CRC data shows millions of approved vehicles are in danger of engine damage.”
Posted March 15, 2013
In a March 7 blog post, Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President, Bob Dinneen claimed that the recent increase in RIN prices is not related to the E10 blendwall, and that the blendwall itself is a myth perpetrated by oil companies as an “excuse for their refusal to move to higher-level ethanol blends.” He then makes a number of claims that were presumably intended to bolster his misplaced conclusion. Conveniently, the post does not propose an alternative theory for RIN prices that have gone from 3 cents apiece to over $1, before retreating to about 70 cents today, in less than one years’ time.The post also ignores that the petroleum industry is only one in a sea of voices raising concern over the negative impacts that E15 and unrealistically high ethanol blending requirements would likely have on on-road and off-road engines and fuel systems, gasoline retail infrastructure and dispensing equipment, the environment, the price of food, food security for the needy, and a laundry list of other health and safety issues.
Posted March 12, 2013
We expect attacks from ethanol boosters over E15 gasoline, fuel that contains 15 percent ethanol, because their stated mission is to promote more ethanol use. But, unfortunately for them, the science is clear; E15 has been shown to cause damage in some engines and fuel systems.
Pointing this out, citing tests by the Coordinating Research Council (CRC), an organization that’s the gold standard in terms of automotive research, has drawn some fantastic claims, most recently that the E10 (10 percent ethanol) “blend wall” – the point at which there isn’t enough E10 being sold to accommodate all of the ethanol mandated by federal law – doesn’t actually exist, more on that below.
Posted February 1, 2013
The ethanol lobby doesn’t like the latest research on E15 – gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol – because it raises questions about EPA’s premature decision to approve E15 for use in post-2001 cars and light-duty trucks. The Coordinating Research Council (CRC) study warns that E15 could damage fuel pumps and onboard fuel measurement systems, potentially affecting millions of vehicles. This follows last year’s CRC finding that E15 could damage car and truck engines.
Since ethanol producers’ goal is more ethanol use, and an EPA pullback on E15 would get in the way of that goal, attacks on both studies – such as those by the Renewable Fuels Association – aren’t surprising. But let’s be candid: They won’t be around if and when motorists end up on the side of the road with a seized-up fuel pump, damaged by E15 use.
Posted January 30, 2013
Earlier this week API highlighted new research by the Coordinating Research Council (CRC) on serious potential problems with vehicle fuel systems when operated on E15 fuel – gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol.
In addition to CRC’s research, we want to call attention to a recent paper from Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) that was published by the Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE). This study examined the effects of E15 on malfunction indicator lights (MIL), also known as “check engine lights.”
Posted January 29, 2013
There’s new research showing E15 (15 percent ethanol) fuel could damage vehicles, potentially stranding motorists and/or saddling them with expensive repair bills – one of a number of reasons the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) should be scrapped. Following on a report last spring that said E15 could damage engines and cars and trucks, the Coordinating Research Council (CRC) has a new study that found E15 can mess up fuel pump systems and fuel measurement systems, potentially affecting “millions and millions” of vehicles, Bob Greco, API downstream and industry operations director, said in a conference call with reporters.
Posted December 5, 2012
Posted November 30, 2012