EPA May Not Make E15 Decision by Dec. 1 Deadline

Growth Energy, RFA both want blend wall for ethanol raised to 15%.

Published on: Nov 13, 2009

Earlier this week, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said that EPA wanted more time to consider the Green Jobs Waiver, which calls for increasing the blend wall of ethanol so a 15% blend could be sold. A decision was supposed to be made by Dec. 1, but that deadline may not be met. Jackson said more data on the possible impact of E15 on catalytic converters, which Renewable Fuels President Bob Dinneen says is frustrating.

 

"There's a lot of data out there to suggest that in existing vehicles higher level blends could be used," Dineen said at the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention in Kansas City, Mo. "We know from the data that's there that there is no materials compatibility issue, we know that there is no drivability issue, we know that emissions are enhanced with the more ethanol that you add to gasoline."

 

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis was also at the NAFB Convention and told reporters that moving to E15 would replace the need to import as much as 7 billion gallons of fuel and create 136,000 new jobs in the United States.

 

Dinneen says that if EPA needs more time to deal with the catalytic converter issue that's fine, but they could take a step forward by allowing a 12% blend, which would fall within EPA's own blending tolerances and regulations on fuels.

 

"EPA has previously allowed 10% ethanol to be added on top of 2% MTBE," Dinneen said. "That's 12% oxygen. What difference does it make if the oxygen is coming from one oxygenate or two."

 

By allowing E12 to be blended, Dinneen says the market for ethanol would be expanded by 20% and it shows movement while study of the other issue continues, but EPA doesn't even seem willing to do that.

 

"What you have is paralysis by analysis," Dinneen said. "You've got a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington that want to count the angels on a head of pin on this issue and ignoring the real opportunities that exist." 

 

To hear Dinneen's remarks use the audio player above.