Under The Hood

EPA, its 'corporate supporters' want to up ethanol content

Apparently, the EPA wants us to start throwing away hoses, fuel pumps, gas tanks and other fuel-related parts into landfills, instead of continuing to use them to the fullest extent of their life. As if E10 isn’t already bad enough, now they want to up the amount to ethanol in fuel to 15 percent from 10 percent.

Obviously, I’m bitter, because I find it wasteful to wreck perfectly operating parts by upping ethanol without testing its effects. Many readers have complained to me about the effects 10% ethanol content has already had upon their cars, and I’ve experienced my own problems. My first problem with the crap fuel occurred last year. One switch from ethanol-free fuel to ethanol-laced fuel took out my
1985 Caprice coupe’s fuel pump in a single fill. That gas-drenched, unrecyclable fuel pump part now resides in
a land fill.

For those of you traveling in central Wisconsin, I can happily report many Shell and BP stations keep ethanol out of their premium fuel, and I’ve never had a problem those fuels. Also, the Minnesota Street Rod Association publishes a list of ethanol-free fuel suppliers in its state here by clicking under “features.” If you have such a list for your area, I’ll be happy to put a link to it here.

In the meantime, let Big Brother know they’re taking risks at your expense and ask them to stop this requirement that directly takes money from your wallet and places it into a corporate coffer by way of the EPA.

URGENT REGULATORY ALERT
EPA Threatens to Raise Ethanol Content in Gasoline
Under pressure from ethanol producers to raise the ethanol content in gasoline, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could issue a decision later this month allowing the use of E15 in late-model cars.  It could permit the use in other cars at a later date.  The SEMA Action Network (SAN) opposes the shift from E10 to E15 due to concerns that the additional content will harm automobiles of all ages, including special interest collector and historic vehicles.  To date, there is a lack of conclusive information regarding E15’s effect on engines of different model years.  In addition to the potential harm of E15 on engine components, the EPA has no procedure in place to ensure misfueling does not occur or any plan for ensuring regular gasoline continues to be available for older vehicles.  The SAN’s concerns are shared by a number of other industry organizations.
We Urge You to Ask President Obama (Contact Information Below) to Stop the EPA from Raising the Ethanol Content in Gasoline 

Dear Mr. President:
I strongly urge you to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from raising the amount of ethanol in gasoline from today’s 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15) – a 50 percent increase.

The EPA is under pressure from some corporate ethanol supporters to raise the rates in order to boost sales.  However, scientific studies have not yet been completed on concerns that the added content could harm auto parts of all ages. 

When ethanol levels are raised, engines react differently and in a potentially dangerous way.  Ethanol causes engines to burn hotter which could lead to premature engine and equipment failure.  For newer cars, the “check engine” light may appear unnecessarily or too late to avoid costly repairs.

Ethanol also increases water formation in the fuel system, especially when the vehicle sits over a period of time.  Under these conditions, formic acid is created which corrodes metals, plastics and rubber.  This can lead to engine/parts failures and, potentially, safety hazards.

If the EPA approves E15, it will state that the increased ethanol is only for recent model cars.  However, once a new fuel mix enters the gasoline supply system, it will inevitably end up in the wrong engines. 

Gasoline without any ethanol may simply disappear from the marketplace for millions of Americans with older cars or special interest collector and historic vehicles.  E10 has already made this a reality in many areas of the country.
The EPA should wait until all of the scientific research is complete.  There is no need for a rush to judgment.

DON’T DELAY!   Please contact President Obama at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
Please e-mail a copy of your letter to Steve McDonald at stevem@sema.org.  Thank you for your assistance.

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