Groups want EPA to reconsider ethanol increase

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A broad coalition of groups, including the National Marine Manufacturers Association, is calling for a review by the Environmental Protection Agency of a petition to increase ethanol levels in gasoline.

“American motorists and consumers cannot afford to have EPA’s decision on whether to permit the use of ethanol blends higher than 10 percent in motor vehicle and smaller engines be guided by any factor other than sound and unbiased science,” said a coalition of 13 organizations and trade associations.

Ethanol manufacturers want the EPA to increase ethanol levels in gasoline from 10 percent to 12, 15 or even 20 percent.

But the opposition groups say the possibility that more alcohol in the fuel could cause damage to motor vehicle and marine engines, fuel-handling systems, storage tanks, and pollution control and safety equipment.

“To date, there has not been sufficient testing of motor vehicle and non-road equipment engines, such as outdoor power equipment and marine engines, to determine whether any mid-level ethanol blend would meet current federal air-quality protection requirements or be safe for consumers to use,” the coalition said in a statement.

“Consideration of an increase in the current federal legal limit on blending ethanol into gasoline must be undertaken through an open, public and transparent process that takes into account both the increased air pollution that will result from the use of higher ethanol blends in many engines and the potential risks to consumers of driving vehicles or handling engines fueled with these blends,” the group added.

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