E15 decision expected today

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected later today to release its decision on whether to allow more ethanol than the current limit of 10 percent to be blended into gasoline.

The agency is holding a press conference this afternoon to discuss an "announcement on ethanol," it said in a release.

Reuters is reporting that the EPA will clear the way for gasoline blended with as much as 50 percent more ethanol, or E15, to be used in vehicles made since the 2007 model year.

The EPA will approve the request from the Growth Energy coalition of ethanol producers to boost the amount of ethanol in a gallon of gasoline to as much as 15 percent from the current 10 percent. The agency is expected to decide in December whether E15 can be used in cars built from 2001 to 2006, Reuters said.

Many marine industry groups, including the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the Marine Retailers Association of America and BoatU.S., oppose E15. These groups and others have asked that the agency delay decisions on E15 until scientific testing shows whether higher ethanol levels will increase air pollution, harm engines or raise consumer safety issues.

More than 22,000 people have e-mailed President Barack Obama, urging him to prevent the EPA from approving the increase.

Soundings Trade Only will update this story throughout the day.

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