Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives requiring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seek independent scientific analysis on the effects of 15%-blend ethanol gasoline (E15) on vehicles and engines. The review would include an evaluation of the short- and long-term environmental, safety and performance effects of E15 on both on- and off-road vehicle engines. Last January, the EPA decided to allow the use of E15 in vehicles manufactured after 2001 based solely on a limited study by the U.S. Department of Energy.
SEMA has been a strong supporter of further testing to gauge the effects of E15. SEMA opposes the introduction of E15 into the marketplace due to concerns that the additional content will harm automobiles of all ages, including special-interest collector and historic vehicles. In addition to the potential harm of E15 on engine components, the EPA has no procedure in place to ensure that misfueling does not occur or any plan for ensuring regular gasoline continues to be available for older vehicles. SEMA’s concerns have been echoed by a number of other organizations.
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