Sensenbrenner presses EPA after study links E15 to engine damage

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Friday, May 18th, 2012

The author of a House bill that would slow the introduction of E15 into the marketplace asked U.S. EPA yesterday to respond to a recent study that links the fuel to damage in car engines. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) asked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson about her confidence in the fuel, a blend of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol. He wrote in his letter that a hasty introduction of E15 could yield “catastrophic” consequences — fires and explosions if the wrong vehicles are fueled with E15.

Interest groups, agencies battle over study linking E15 to engine damage

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Thursday, May 17th, 2012

A new study showing that E15 damaged car engines in two popular models provides “material evidence” that U.S. EPA moved too hastily in approving the fuel for the market, the oil and auto industries said today.
In a blog post today, DOE Vehicle Technologies Program manager Patrick Davis criticized the study, calling it “significantly flawed.” “The CRC failed to establish a proper control group, a standard component of scientific, data-driven testing and a necessity to determine statistical significance for any results,” Davis said. The study neglected to test the engines with E10 as a control, he added, and used a test cycle designed specifically to stress the engine valve train.

Critics: E15 hurts engines; ethanol fans rip new study

Source: DAN PILLER, Des Moines Register • Posted: Thursday, May 17th, 2012

President and CEO Jack Gerard criticized the decision last year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to expand the blend limit of ethanol in gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. Monte Shaw of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association said the study is “just bad science.” “What they did was use a very aggressive form of ethanol blend, about a 17 percent blend, and didn’t use the 10 percent blend as a baseline,” said Shaw. “So you don’t know how much of that engine damage might have happened anyway.”

A New Skirmish in the Ethanol Wars

Source: By MATTHEW L. WALD, New York Times • Posted: Thursday, May 17th, 2012

The auto and oil industries plan to release a report on Wednesday indicating that some cars running on E15, the 15 percent ethanol blend that was recently authorized by the Environmental Protection Agency, experienced engine damage. But officials at the Energy Department counter that the study is flawed and that the department’s own research, which the E.P.A. relied on in approving E15, demonstrates that cars now running on the standard blend, called E10, will do just fine on E15.

Boehner vows to schedule vote on tax cut extensions before Election Day

Source: Elana Schor, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Boehner was silent on whether the production tax credit (PTC) for wind, solar and geothermal power would hitch a ride on the tax-cut extension package he plans to bring to the House floor before lawmakers face voters in November. Presumed to be a part of that bill, however, is an extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for all earners — a move likely to ground the House’s proposal in the Senate, where most Democrats align with the White House in seeking to roll back those benefits for wealthier Americans.

Next round of CAFE standards due this summer — Obama adviser

Source: Nick Juliano, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

The next round of fuel economy rules for passenger vehicles will be released this summer, a senior White House adviser said today. The standards, which would set a fleetwide target of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, were proposed in November, and U.S. EPA and the Department of Transportation have been reviewing comments submitted in February. That process should wrap up within the next two to three months, at which time a final rule would be published, said Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change.

Renewable fuel made gas prices $1 cheaper last year — study

Source: Amanda Peterka, E&E reporter • Posted: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Ethanol helped reduce wholesale gas prices by an average of $1.09 per gallon last year, according to a university study being touted today by the ethanol industry. Without ethanol blended into gasoline, prices at the pump would have averaged $4.61 a gallon in 2011 instead of $3.52, the industry said of the study. That difference saved the average American household $1,200 at the pump last year, the Renewable Fuels Association said in a statement.

Oil and ethanol industries pump up product debate in Iowa

Source: DAN PILLER, Des Moines Register • Posted: Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Ethanol and the oil industry continued their escalating battle this week, with Iowa ethanol producers saying their product cuts gas prices while the petroleum industry argues that larger blends of ethanol can harm consumers and the environment.

American livestock get extra dose of antibiotics from spent ethanol grain, report says

Source: Monica Eng, Chicago Tribune • Posted: Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

As the battle wages on over the safety of feeding antibiotics to livestock for growth promotion, a new report reveals yet another source of unregulated antibiotics in American animal feed–spent ethanol grain. The new report by advocacy group the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy suggests that a relatively new source of food for livestock may contain levels of penicillin, erythromycin and other antibiotics. Both of these are medically important drugs whose effectiveness in treating humans can be compromised by overuse in animal feed for non-sick animals.

Ethanol Extends Longest Losing Streak in Month on Greek Crisis

Source: By Mario Parker, Bloomberg • Posted: Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Ethanol extended its longest streak of losses in almost a month on concern that Greece’s debt crisis will spread and choke fuel demand.