In a move that will rile opponents of corn-based ethanol, EPA approved the first application for registration of an 85/15% blend of gasoline and ethanol (E15), the formal agency move to erase the 10% blend rate in place for years.
The new fuel would be allowed in cars and trucks made in 2001 or later, the agency said. EPA said the Obama Administration is backing the E15 move by “helping” fuel station owners to install upwards of 10,000 blender fuel pumps around the country over the next five years through programs at DOE and USDA.
Before the new fuel blend can be sold, manufacturers must “help to ensure” retail stations and gasoline distributors “understand and implement labeling rules.”
The E15 action follows two previous waivers by the agency that allowed the 15% ethanol blend to be used in the newer vehicles. It can’t be used in motor vehicles made before 2001, in off-road vehicles and equipment that includes boats and lawn/garden equipment. Details can be found at www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15.