WASHINGTON (Dec. 3, 2015) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued final targets for the amount of ethanol to be blended into gasoline in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
According to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), the agency also is relying on expanded sales of E15 — gasoline that contains 15 percent ethanol — in order to meet the targets. The EPA is required to set ethanol targets under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The law was intended to reduce the nation's dependency on foreign oil but has translated into ever-increasing corn production so that the ethanol byproduct can be blended into gas, SEMA said.
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, the Diamond Bar, Calif.-based trade group noted.
SEMA said it is working to enact legislation to repeal the EPA regulation authorizing E15 sales, cap the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline at 10 percent and eliminate a mandate that 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol be blended into the U.S. fuel supply every year.
The association added that it has joined with more than 50 other organizations from the auto, boat, food and energy industries to support passage of the legislation.