House Science Committee Approves Bill Blocking E15

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
house science committee approves bill blocking e15

The House Science Committee approved a bill that bars the EPA from approving E15 gasoline without a further study into its effects. The bill passed 19-7 as members voted along party lines. The bill was sponsored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI).

Automakers and corn growers have clashed over E15, which is made from 15 percent corn-based ethanol biofuel. The EPA allowed its use in 2001 and newer vehicles, but various interest groups, including Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute protested. In December 2011, Congress ended a 30 year subsidy for corn-based ethanol, that cost taxpayers an estimated $6 billion per year. Brazilian ethanol, which is made from sugarcane, also had its tariff lifted.

Opponents of ethanol noted that 40 percent of America’s corn crop went to ethanol usage, boosting food and animal feed prices unnecessarily by as much as 20 percent. Ethanol blend fuels are said to cause engine problems in vehicles not specially adapted to use them. Brazilian automobiles, for example, are designed to run on heavy blends of ethanol, including E85.

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  • 50merc 50merc on Feb 09, 2012

    You can't find real gas? Come to Oklahoma, where that's no problem. Most stations selling non-adulterated gas have huge signs proclaiming "100% gasoline", "No Ethanol", "We sell real gas" or the like. Because they know what their customers want, and unlike the EPA, the stations have an interest in serving the public's interest. Oh, and stations selling fake gas are required to post notices to that effect.

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    • Les Les on Feb 11, 2012

      One of the few things about my home-state that truly rocks, Four 100% Gas stations in my home town (out of 8 total stations), one of which (and the cheepest) is a commercial fuel distributor that opens it's pumps to the public... Don'cha just love the country life?

  • Shaker Shaker on Feb 10, 2012

    With the drought in Texas last year actually *preventing* a corn crop and prompting ranchers to sell off herds that they couldn't feed, I guess that it's become increasingly apparent that ethanol is a bad use for food.

  • Bob Bob on Feb 10, 2012

    I did an E85 conversion on my Cavalier. My milage went from 30-35mpg on regular E10 gasoline to 20mpg on E85. Ethanol is terrible.

    • Aristurtle Aristurtle on Feb 10, 2012

      Well, duh. Ethanol has a much lower energy density than gasoline (just like gasoline has a lower energy density than diesel). Most people do homebrew ethanol conversions because E85 has an absurdly high octane equivalent rating and is cheaper than race gas, allowing you to put really idiotic amounts of boost through a forced induction system.

  • Bob Bob on Feb 12, 2012

    Well according to the $400 kit only drops your mileage 10% at the most. It was the biggest waste of money. Buy the time I had 2 tanks of E85 through the car my money back guarantee was up.