Fuel Smarts

Congress Holds Hearing on Impact of E15 Gas

March 07, 2013

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A U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee held a hearing to examine the scientific, technical and consumer impact of gasoline with 15% ethanol (E15). The hearing focused on the potential negative impact of E15 on engines, components and fuel-delivery systems.

According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association, ethanol absorbs water, which can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency allows use of E15 in 2001 and newer vehicles, but agreed to make it “illegal to fuel pre-’01 vehicles” with E15.

Hearing witnesses included representatives from the American Automobile Association, American Motorcyclist Association and the Coordinating Research Council, which recently issued a report documenting the detrimental effects of E15 on fuel system components.

AAA voiced concern over the likelihood of misfueling due to lack of consumer education on the availability and hazards of E15. A recent AAA survey reveals "a strong likelihood of consumer confusion and the potential for voided warranties and vehicle damage as a result of the EPA’s recent approval of E15 gasoline."

The Congressional panel identified the potential for warranty denials, motorist liability and lack of proper labeling as three critical issues making the introduction of E15 to the marketplace premature before further testing and education is completed.

The House Science Committee will soon consider a bill (HR 875) introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner directing the National Academies to conduct a scientific assessment on how gasoline blended with 15–20% ethanol (E15 and E20) may impact gasoline-powered engines, vehicles and related equipment.

The analysis would consider a variety of issues, including tailpipe and evaporative emissions, impact on OBD systems, materials compatibility and fuel efficiency. The National Academies would have 18 months to conduct its analysis, during which time sales of E15 gas would be halted. The Committee passed a similar bill last year but no further action took place.


  1. 1. [email protected] [ March 08, 2013 @ 05:32AM ]

    We as a country need to look at a full cicle effect upon our country. I for one don't beleive in the ethanol or the bio-diesel fuels. We are wasting good grain and crops that help feed livestock for the consumers who purchase the breads, meat,and all the other commodities that the American people consume which in turrn will drive the prices of these products up so high the people will not be able to feed there families.There a lot better ways to produce fuels that won't effect the people in general. Taake away the IRS rebates and see how many of these people stay in business and why do these fuels cost more than the ULSD and regular gasoline. Our country is going backwards instead of forward in our thinking.

  2. 2. Bert lasagna [ May 10, 2013 @ 05:54AM ]

    This is nothing more than big agri and lobbyist working in an attempt to sway congress into creating a disaster for the American automobile, lawn mower,and other gasoline powered equipment owners to have their cars,boats,and other equipment ruined by the money grabbing agri-businesses and lobbyist for the agri-businesses. These people are taking food from the mouths of the world, driving up food prices and attempting to destroy the autos we drive to work!


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