By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
SEMA-supported legislation (H.R. 5212/S. 2519) has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to cap the amount of ethanol that is required to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply at 9.7%. The bills phase out the federal government’s ethanol mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by reducing the amount of corn ethanol blended into gasoline by 2 billion gallons per year until the requirement is eliminated in 2030.
While the RFS was intended to reduce the nation’s dependency on foreign oil, the 2007 law has translated into ever-increasing corn production so that the ethanol byproduct can be blended into gasoline. The EPA has turned to sales of E15 (15% ethanol blended into gasoline) to achieve the law’s artificial mandate. Ethanol, especially in higher concentrations, such as E15, can cause metal corrosion and dissolve certain plastics and rubbers in automobiles produced before 2001 that were not constructed with ethanol-resistant materials.