FUE Led Coalition Calls on EPA to Go Beyond E15
HURON, S.D. A broad coalition of farm, ethanol, and clean fuel advocates today called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to open the market to a wider range of fuels in order to provide consumers with healthier choices.
Farmers Union Enterprises filed comments with EPA following the agency's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to extend the current reid vapor pressure allowance to blends of 15% ethanol in gasoline. While applauding the proposal, the commenters challenged EPA on their limiting the rule to just 15% and presented a detailed legal and technical argument as to why higher blends are permissible.
FUE President Doug Sombke said if the rule is finalized as proposed it would limit the broader use and availability of ethanol, contrary to the intent of Congress when it established several programs to cap toxic carcinogens currently in gasoline. Higher blends could achieve that goal, according to Sombke, such as E30 which has been successfully used in South Dakota and is planned to be demonstrated by both South Dakota and Nebraska state fleets.
The comments support EPA's finding that E15 is substantially similar to E10 in all respects but oppose the proposed requirement that any blend above E15 would be required to apply for similar approval.
""EPA continues to rely on outdated and biased historical models and studies that penalize ethanol," said Sombke. "With the designation of E10 as a certification test fuel, the time has come to put ethanol on equal footing with other fuels and additives. Higher volumes of ethanol reduce vapor pressure, dilute toxics and sulfur, and provide low carbon, clean octane.
The proposed rule does not meet the objectives of existing law, Congressional intent, and fails to recognize best available science."
Joining Farmers Union Enterprises on the comments are the National Farmers Union, South Dakota and Nebraska Farmers Union, Urban Air Initiative, Clean Fuels Development Coalition, and Glacial Lakes Energy.
"EPA is doing the right thing, but not enough of the right thing. If we are forced to file new applications for higher fuel blends and wait nearly ten years like we did with E15, the ethanol industry, and the agriculture industry that supplies it, will be severely damaged and is likely to never grow beyond the depressed levels we are seeing now," said Sombke.
Copies of the FUE Coalition comments can be accessed at the South Dakota Farmers Union website at www.sdfu.org. Comments can also be found on the National Farmers Union website at www.nfu.org, and the Clean Fuels Development Coalition at www.cleanfuelsdc.org.