The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers have joined with the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute in filing a petition challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to approve the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol for 2007 and newer passenger cars and light trucks. These organizations say they represent those who are concerned about the safety and reliability of the use of increased ethanol. The petition asks that the EPA’s decision be put on hold until it can be determined whether the decision violates the Clean Air Act which limits the circumstances under which the EPA can approve new fuels and additives.
According to the Renewable Fuels Association the waiver should be for all vehicles. The EPA could have avoided market confusion by following all the science to its logical conclusion and allowing the use of E15 for all cars and light duty pickup trucks. According to the ethanol trade association, “Allowing for the use of E15 blends is safe and will help reduce the United States dependency on fossil fuels and imported oil.” The effort is also supported by corn-producing states and alternative fuel proponents who have long sought to increase federal rules boosting the amount of ethanol mixed into gasoline.
Still there is strong opposition to the decision. The infrastructure isn’t there to accommodate the product, the production and use of ethanol can add to the amount of smog put into the air, the use of ethanol will result in higher food prices, and there just hasn’t been enough research to see if automobile can withstand the use of higher ethanol fuel.