Ford, GM join le­gal fight against EPA’s higher ethanol mix gas

Dayton Daily News - - MORE TOP NEWS - By Steve Gelsi and Jef­fry Bar­tash Mar­ketWatch

NEW YORK — A trade group that in­cludes au­to­mo­tive giants Ford Mo­tor Co. and Gen­eral Mo­tors Co. has joined forces with other ve­hi­cle and en­gine mak­ers to sound a warn­ing against the govern­ment’s move to al­low more ethanol to be blended with gaso­line.

The “blend­ing wall” for fuel sold at the pump — 10 per­cent ethanol, 90 per­cent gaso­line — hasn’t changed in many years, but the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency in Oc­to­ber raised to 15 per­cent the pro­por­tion of ethanol deemed per­mis­si­ble for newer cars and trucks.

The newly formed En­gine Prod­ucts Group has come out fight­ing the EPA’s 15 per­cent waiver, claim­ing the fed­eral rul­ing could con­fuse con­sumers and cause more dam­age to older en­gines not de­signed for a heav­ier ethanol blend.

The group in­cludes the Al­liance of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers as well as the As­so­ci­a­tion of In­ter­na­tional Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers, the Na­tional Ma­rine Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion and the Out­door Power Equip­ment In­sti­tute. They’re fac­ing off against an­other pow­er­ful lobby: corn and soy­bean grow­ers, and ethanol mak­ers.

The EPA would re­quire ser­vice sta­tions to clearly la­bel their pumps to pre­vent con­sumers from buy­ing the wrong fuel.

En­gine mak­ers, how­ever, say that the EPA rul­ing goes be­yond what’s al­lowed un­der the Clean Air Act and that al­low­ing greater amounts of ethanol could end up harm­ing con­sumers.

The in­dus­try group on Mon­day filed a pe­ti­tion with a U.S. ap­pel­late court in Washington chal­leng­ing the EPA’s waiver for the sale of gaso­line con­tain­ing 15 per­cent ethanol — mar­keted as E15 — for 2007 model year and newer pas­sen­ger cars and light trucks.

Op­po­nents ar­gue that cur­rent off-road equip­ment “is not de­signed, built or war­ranted for mi­dlevel blends and con­sumers could en­counter per­for­mance ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties, in­creased heat and ex­haust tem­per­a­tures,” if they use E15.

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