Say yes to tested E-15
A group of ethanol opponents composed primarily of the petroleum industry and environmental extremists have clamored to the White House, asking President Obama to make the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "follow the science" and not allow "untested" higher blends of ethanol to be put on the market.
We agree, Mr. President. American drivers should not be exposed to fuel blends that are untested and are possibly unsafe. And that's why the National Corn Growers Association strongly supports the EPA's approval of E-15 for motor vehicles - a fuel blend that has been thoroughly tested. Part of the reason the EPA has acted so slowly was because it wanted to make sure it had significant research in place, and unfortunately ethanol opponents do not really want to respect the scientific process.
However, even without looking at the EPA's and the Department of Energy's body of research on E-15, we know there is already a strong set of independent evidence in favor of higher blends.
In September 2010, the automotive engineering firm Ricardo found that moving from 10 percent ethanol in gasoline to 15 percent will mean little, if any, change in the performance of older cars and light trucks, those manufactured between 1994 and 2000.
This study analyzed the vehicles manufactured by six companies and that represent 25 percent of light duty vehicles on the road today, concluded "that the adoption and use of E-15 in the motor vehicle fleet from the studied model years should not adversely affect these vehicles or cause them to perform in a suboptimal manner when compared with their performance using the E-10 blend that is currently available."
In a February 2009 report, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory performed a peer-reviewed study regarding the effects of E-15 and E-20 on motor vehicles and small non-road engines. This research concludes that when E-15 and E-20 were compared to traditional gasoline, there are no significant changes in vehicle tailpipe emissions, vehicle driveability, or small non-road engine emissions as ethanol content increased.
The state of Minnesota produced a report in 2008 that compared the effects of E-0, E-10 and E-20 fuel. They tested these three options on nineteen metals, and found that the metals tested were compatible with all three fuels; on eight elastomers, and found that E-20 caused no greater change in properties than E-0 or E-10; on eight plastics, and found that there was no significant difference in the properties of the samples exposed to E-20 and E-10; on twenty-four fuel pumps and nine sending units and found that E-20 has similar effect as E-10 and E-0 on fuel pumps and sending units. And they tested forty pairs of vehicles on E-0 and E-20 and found no driveability or operational issues with either fuel.
An October 2008 report to the U.S. Senate on E-20 ethanol research, prepared by the Rochester Institute of Technology, evaluated the effects of E-20 on 10 vehicles. Initial results after 75,000 collective miles driven found no fuel-related failures or significant vehicle problems and documented reductions in regulated tailpipe emissions when using E-20 compared to E-0.
In October 2007, a report prepared by the Energy & Environmental Research Center and Minnesota Center for Automotive Research studied the effects of ethanol blends ranging from E-10 to E-85 on motor vehicles and found that exhaust emissions levels for all vehicles at all levels of ethanol blend were within the applicable Clean Air Act standards.
In December 2006, a report by the Coordinating Research Council evaluated the effects of E-0, E-6, E-20 and E-85 on the evaporative emissions rates from permeation in five newer California vehicles and found that there was no statistically significant increase in diurnal permeation rates between E-6 and E-20.
A 2004-05 research project by Stockholm University tested and compared evaporative emissions from E-0, E-5, E-10, and E-15 and found lower total hydrocarbon emissions and lower evaporative emissions from E-15 than from E-10 and E-5.
More than a decade ago, A July 1999 study by the Minnesota Center for Automotive Research evaluated the effects of E-10 and E-30 in fifteen older vehicles in "real world" driving conditions. It found no effect on driveability or component compatibility from either fuel and found that regulated exhaust emissions from both fuels were well below federal standards.
Leaving aside the positive impact this decision will have on the economy of rural America and on our environment and leaving aside the fact that this will help us further displace foreign oil, testing confirms that now is the time for increasing the blend of ethanol. We look forward to the EPA's decision.
As for the 22,000 emails that purportedly were sent to the President telling him to say no to "untested" E-15, we can add the 36,000 members of the National Corn Growers Association. We say no to "untested" fuel. But Mr. President, since E-15 has been extensively tested and retested and has passed each test, it is time to allow EPA to approve an ethanol blend rate of up to E-15!
SOURCE: National Corn Growers Association