Comments to the EPA on Increased Ethanol Use
We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) request for comment regarding the proposed rule, titled “Regulation to Mitigate the Misfueling of Vehicles and Engines with Gasoline Containing Greater than Ten Volume Percent Ethanol and Modifications to the Reformulated and Conventional Gasoline Programs.” We respectfully disagree that action is needed to increase the volume of ethanol in Model Year (MY) 2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles and believe the proposed regulation would be arbitrary and capricious under §706 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
As the EPA has already deferred ruling on MY 2001–2006 vehicles, we recommend postponing the implementation of higher ethanol content for MY 2007 and newer vehicles until Congress addresses ethanol’s expiring tax provisions.
To summarize our views on ethanol policy and this proposed rule, we believe: 1) E15 would further increase CO2 emissions and conflict with the EPA’s own agenda to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA), 2) ethanol is poor energy, agricultural, and public policy, and continued use will further increase the price of vital commodities, and 3) allowing E15 in MY 2007 and newer vehicles will have the unintended consequence of confusing motorists who own vehicles that explicitly warn against using fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol. In many cases, owner’s manuals caution motorists that increased ethanol usage can void vehicle warranties.
Finally, we believe deficit constraints will force Congress to address more than $7 billion in ethanol subsidies and mandates. It would be inappropriate to promulgate new regulations on the entire energy sector when the ultimate fate of ethanol is still uncertain.
Click here for the full PDF of our comment to the EPA.