From 10% of ethanol blended into fuel, ethanol producers can now use higher concentrations of the corn-based fuel additive in gasoline for vehicles made in 2007 and later. Ethanol producers such as Archer Daniels Midland Co. have made this request to raise the limit -- which the Obama administration has now granted.
The Environmental Protection Agency said it will permit refiners to blend as much as 15% ethanol into fuel. A coalition of oil companies, automakers and advocacy groups have opposed this move, asserting that adding more ethanol may damage car engines, boost food prices and damage the environment.
EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said that it has been revealed through testing that the E15 “does not harm emissions control equipment in newer cars and light trucks.”
She said that the administration will be taking the steps available to “allow more home-grown fuels in America's vehicles” as long as they’re supported by sound science and the law.
The EPA said that it will make a decision on the use of E15 in model year 2001 to 2006 vehicles after it gets the results of additional testing from the Department of Energy that are due in November.
Furthermore, the EPA said that no waiver is being approved this year for E15 use in model year 2000 and older cars and light trucks (or in any motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, or non-road engines) because there is no current testing data to support such a waiver. [via autonews - sub. required]