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Groups warn that EPA’s ethanol proposal could damage engines, raise food costs

Carlton Carroll | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2015 – Leading industry voices raised concerns with EPA’s proposed biofuel mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) in a press conference call Wednesday, warning that higher ethanol mandates could damage vehicles and raise food costs.

“The problem with EPA’s biofuel proposal is the assumption of growing demand for high-ethanol fuel that consumers simply don’t want,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “High ethanol fuels that EPA is pushing are not compatible with most cars on the road today, and they could potentially put American consumers and their vehicles at risk.”

Most cars are only approved by the manufacturer to use ethanol blends of 10 percent or less, according to API. Extensive testing by the auto and oil industries shows that higher ethanol blends can damage engines and fuel systems – potentially leaving drivers stranded.

“Clearly the EPA has failed in making long-term structural changes to ease the increasing burden the RFS places on the food supply chain and commodity prices,” said Rob Green, executive director or the National Council of Chain Restaurants. “It is past time for Congress to recognize that the RFS is a broken policy and approve pending legislation in the House and Senate that would repeal the corn ethanol mandate. America’s consumers, diners and restaurants should not continue to pay the price for the EPA’s negligence and Congress’ inaction.”

“EPA is proposing federal grants and price controls to increase amounts of the higher-than E10 ethanol blended fuels into the marketplace, but the market should dictate demand and let the consumer choose the proper fuel for each vehicle,” said Fmr. Senator Wayne Allard, vice president of government affairs at the American Motorcyclist Association. “Consumers want E0 for their motorcycles, ATVs, boats, lawn mowers and other equipment because it does not pose the risk of engine and fuel system damage. Yet, the renewable fuels requirements have marginalized the product in favor of E10 or higher blends.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 25 million Americans.