The Environmental Protection Agency has approved testing of E15 gasoline on health effects, which moves the fuel closer to final registration and being made available commercially. The testing was submitted by the Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy.
“Our evaluation therefore concludes that RFA/Growth Energy has submitted data and analysis that would satisfy the Tier 1 and Tier 2 testing requirements for registration," the EPA report stated.
“EPA’s action today puts E15 on the precipice of commercialization and means that consumers may be able to choose a more affordable E15 option in time for the expensive summer driving season,” RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “This is huge step toward meaningful market expansion for domestically-produced ethanol.”
Suppliers of ethanol and E15 as a result of the EPA approval, are now able to register with the agency to offer the fuel.
“Now it is up to the retailers and individual fuel companies to register for approval to sell E15,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy. “With ethanol selling an average of 76 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline and $4 a gallon gasoline on the horizon, we’d encourage all Americans to ask their local filling station how soon they will see more-affordable E15.”
Once this plan is completed, and companies register with EPA, E15 can be sold to the EPA-approved vehicles in states and at stations that are prepared to do so.
However, opponents of ethanol are continuing to fight to delay or stop the use of E15. Last week a bill introduced by Representative James Sensenbrenner, R-Wisc., that would require more testing before fo use of E15.
The American Coalition for Ethanol criticized the bill, saying EPA has already studied the fuel at length.
"No other fuel, including gasoline, has undergone the same battery of tests," ACE Vice President Brian Jennings. "Once it hits the market, E15 will be clearly labeled for its intended use for consumers to prevent misfueling in small and non-road engines."