By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
The White House directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow E15 (gasoline that contains 15% ethanol) to be sold year-round. Currently, the EPA prohibits the sale of E15 between June 1 and September 15 due to fuel-volatility concerns that higher blends of ethanol combined with warmer temperatures may lead to increased ground-level ozone formation and smog. The EPA will draft regulations to allow E15 sales to begin as early as 2019, although the decision to lift the restriction could be challenged in court.
President Trump’s support for year-round sales of E15 is designed to increase the availability of E15, as ethanol supporters maintain that few gas stations sell the fuel since E15 could only be legally sold for part of the year. In 2011, the EPA made it illegal to use E15 fuel in motor vehicles made before 2001, motorcycles, boats and gasoline-powered equipment.
SEMA opposes the expansion of E15 sales, as ethanol, especially in higher concentrations such as E15, can cause metal corrosion and dissolve certain plastics and rubbers in automobiles that were not constructed with ethanol-resistant materials.
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