A new gasoline pump label has been signed off by the White House that would inform consumers that they are about to fill their cars with a fuel blended with a higher rate of ethanol.
The Environmental Protection Agency approved the increase of ethanol levels in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent for newer vehicles and trucks in January -- a move welcomed by the ethanol industry, especially by the farmers who supply the corn to make the fuel.
The new label means that the so-called E15 gasoline could be available all across the country by the end of September, according to the pro-ethanol trade group Growth Energy.
EPA has yet to officially register E15 before it can be sold. The rate of service station owners to adopt the E15 gasoline is still unclear, especially that many station operators have to invest in new pumps and separate storage tanks. In addition, most stations will continue to sell E10 gasoline, which can be used in all vehicle makes.
Two weeks ago, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America and the National Association of Convenience Stores, which are organizations with members selling approximately 80 percent of the gasoline in the U.S., sent a joint letter to EPA to contest the new label.
The groups stated that retailers selling E15 could be held liable for damages if the consumers inadvertently put the fuel in the wrong engines. E15 is approved for vehicles built since 2001, a fleet of 150 million cars and trucks that consumes 74 percent of U.S. gasoline production.