Ethanol opponents work to block E15

Source: Philip Brasher • Des Moines Register  • Posted: Wednesday, December 14, 2011

As lawmakers were working to finish a major appropriations bill for fiscal 2012, ethanol opponents were working to include a provision that would block a planned increase in the amount of the biofuel that can be added to gasoline. The cap has long been 10 percent but the Environmental Protection Agency is moving to increase the limit to 15 percent to assure that there is a growing market for ethanol.

Seventy-five House members, led by Reps. John Sullivan, R-Okla., and Gary Peters, D-Mich., recently wrote the House appropriations committee urging the panel to block the EPA from doing anything more on the issue for the 2012 budget year, which runs through next September.

Ethanol industry trade groups and the National Corn Growers Association fired back today with a letter to the House and Senate appropriations committee. The groups said the proposed E15 provision was “aimed at derailing and altering the long-standing process by which new fuel blends are brought into the marketplace.” The EPA did an “exhaustive study” of E15 before deciding that it should be approved, the groups said.

The House voted overwhelmingly earlier this year to include a similar provision for fiscal 2011 but the measure didn’t make it into law.