House Bill Further Stalls Higher Ethanol Blends

DC Dialogue

Bill approved out of committee that would require more research on implications of ethanol blends higher than 10%.

Published on: February 10, 2012

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology approved Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner’s bill, H.R. 3199, by a vote of 19-7 this week. This bill requires a comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications of fuel with more than 10% ethanol.

Thirty one groups had signed on in support of the bill including meat and poultry groups as well as auto and small engine associations.

The bill will require the EPA to task the National Academies of Science with conducting further research that would compare mid-level ethanol blends  to blends containing 10 and zero percent ethanol.  The National Academies would be required to report their results to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology 18 months after enactment of the legislation. 

Sensenbrenner said, “In small engines, E15 is downright dangerous and the EPA has no credible plan to stop mis-fueling. If ethanol is going to be the ‘fuel of the future,’ then there should be no problem conducting independent, comprehensive scientific analysis of its effect on American drivers.”

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis countered that The Green Jobs Waiver for E15 was accompanied with more independently-gathered data, science and research in its support than any of the other 11 Clean Air Act waivers previously approved by the U.S. EPA.

“No fuel blend has been tested as thoroughly as E15. No fuel blend has undergone the level of scrutiny E15 has – and passed the tests like E15 did. They’ve been looking at E15 for more than three years,” Buis said. “Now Rep. Sensenbrenner wants to move the goal posts again – a move that would only add more red tape and regulation.”