U.S. EPA Said to Permit Blending More Ethanol Into Gasoline
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:56 AM   #1
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Default U.S. EPA Said to Permit Blending More Ethanol Into Gasoline

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I just read my car manual, max amount of ethanol is 10%, anymore and damage exhaust systems, engines and fuel pumps and destroy catalytic converters. I am going to the dealership in the morning an ask questions on the E15, what their view will be - doubt anything will be said.

U.S. EPA Said to Permit Blending More Ethanol Into Gasoline - Bloomberg

The Obama administration granted a request from ethanol producers to increase concentrations of the corn-based fuel additive in gasoline for vehicles made for 2007 and later. Ethanol makers rose in New York trading.

The Environmental Protection Agency today agreed to let refiners add as much as 15 percent ethanol to a new blend, up from the current 10 percent. A decision on using more ethanol in fuel for vehicles in model years 2001 through 2006 will be made after further testing, the EPA said in a statement.

“This is a first step,” said Tom Buis, chief executive officer of Growth Energy, an industry trade group in Washington that promotes ethanol as a cheaper alternative to gasoline and a way to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign oil. “We know we have challenges we have to address.”

Archer Daniels Midland Co. is among producers that pressed the EPA to raise the limit for an industry that’s had at least a dozen companies seek bankruptcy protection since 2008. Oil companies, automakers and environmental groups say adding more ethanol may damage engines, boost food prices and worsen air quality, and refiners and convenience stores that sell fuel may be reluctant to market the new blend.

Archer Daniels of Decatur, Illinois, rose 51 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $33.22 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The company is the second-largest U.S. ethanol producer behind closely held Poet LLC, based in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Energy Ethanol Tests

A decision on the blend, known as E15, for cars made for 2001 through 2006 is likely to come in November after the Energy Department completes testing of those vehicles, according to the agency.

The EPA won’t raise ethanol concentrations for automobiles from 2000 or earlier because sufficient testing isn’t available, Gina McCarthy, EPA’s assistant administrator for air and radiation, said today on a conference call with reporters.

The Obama administration doesn’t have the power to order use of E15, though the decision has “the potential to increase the use of renewable fuels in the future,” McCarthy said.

Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc. in Omaha, Nebraska, rose 62 cents, or 5.5 percent, to $11.91 on the Nasdaq Stock Market. Pacific Ethanol Inc., a Sacramento, California-based producer of the fuel, rose 10 cents, or 10 percent, to $1.10. Aventine Renewable Energy Holdings Inc. rose 50 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $27.50 in the over-the-counter market.

No Refiner Requirement

Companies like ADM may not see an immediate boost from the EPA decision because refiners won’t be required to sell the new blend, said analyst Robert Moskow of Credit Suisse AG in New York.

“The approval of E15 by the EPA won’t have a positive effect on ADM in the near-term,” Moskow, who has an “outperform” rating on ADM shares, said in an Oct. 6 report. “Blenders remain reluctant to implement E15 because it requires a separate pump and because the EPA has not absolved the blenders of potential legal liability from consumers.”

Valero Energy Corp., the largest U.S. refiner, and Marathon Oil Co., the largest refiner in the Midwest, are concerned the new blend may leave them liable for engine damage, according to company spokesmen.

“Rushing through this new fuel standard without complete research may be good politics but is bad policy,” Bob Greco, director of downstream operations for the American Petroleum Institute, a Washington trade group, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Decision Delay

The EPA delayed its ethanol decision in December, saying the agency needed more time to test the blend. A decision was again postponed in June, prompting Growth Energy, which sought the E15 approval, to write to President Barack Obama expressing frustration with the process.

AAA, the nation’s biggest motoring organization, said in July 2009 the EPA should reject Growth Energy’s request because higher blends may damage exhaust systems, engines and fuel pumps and destroy catalytic converters. General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC have said the Obama administration should be cautious about increasing the ethanol percentage in gasoline.

“EPA has placed retailers in a very precarious position,” said John Eichberger, vice president of the National Association of Convenience Stores, which said it sells 80 percent of gasoline in the U.S. The group urged retailers to use “extreme caution” before selling E15.

Gasoline retailers will not be allowed to sell the blend until the EPA completes rules for gasoline-pump labels. Growth Energy’s Buis said E15 may be available to motorists in the first three months of next year.

Boat Engines Excluded

The decision excludes non-road engines such as boats and snowmobiles. The National Marine Manufacturers Association, a Chicago-based trade group for the recreational boating industry, said it’s worried that consumers may become confused and put the wrong fuel in boats.

“We are astonished that EPA has decided to move forward with a fuel that will increase air pollution and damage hundreds of millions of existing products,” President Thom Dammrich said in a statement today. The U.S.’s 66 million boaters will be left “holding the bag for performance issues and expensive repairs,” he said.

The Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based environmental group, said the EPA’s approval of the higher ethanol concentrations is risky.

‘Serious Risks’

“Though seen as a win for corn-ethanol lobby groups like Growth Energy, the new ethanol blends come with serious risks for our engines, wildlife, water and the air we all breathe,” Nathanael Greene, a renewable-energy policy analyst with the group, said today.

Growth Energy, which is headed by Wesley Clark, a retired Army general and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, has said ethanol is 59 percent “cleaner” than straight gasoline.

Raising the “blend ratio” will boost demand, according to Growth Energy. By law, the U.S. must use 12 billion gallons of renewable fuels such as ethanol next year, up from 10.5 billion in 2009, and use 15 billion gallons by 2015.

The annual market value for ethanol in the U.S. has risen to $27.1 billion since federal support began under President Jimmy Carter during the 1970s energy crisis.

The U.S. pays a 45-cent tax credit to gasoline refiners that make a blend of as much as 10 percent ethanol, an incentive that is up for renewal at the end of this year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Kim Chipman in Washington at kchipman@bloomberg.net; Mario Parker in Chicago at mparker22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net.

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Old 10-14-2010, 04:20 AM   #2
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Didn't the up in ethanol take place before BO? I remember something about the "Tortilla Protests" in Mexico because the rise in corn prices because of the ethanol % increase. Farmers stand to make more selling the corn for ethanol production than they do for standard grain and food production. Look into the so called 'winter blend' of gasoline, and you might find that there is more than 10% ethanol.

Plus, some people run around with higher % of ethanol in their system (suprdave? ) than your car mfr says is cool.

Hint: Platinum Plugs and 93% octane-burn that stuff hot, and you will be fine.

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Old 10-14-2010, 04:34 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by skullcrusher View Post
Didn't the up in ethanol take place before BO? I remember something about the "Tortilla Protests" in Mexico because the rise in corn prices because of the ethanol % increase. Farmers stand to make more selling the corn for ethanol production than they do for standard grain and food production. Look into the so called 'winter blend' of gasoline, and you might find that there is more than 10% ethanol.

Plus, some people run around with higher % of ethanol in their system (suprdave? ) than your car mfr says is cool.

Hint: Platinum Plugs and 93% octane-burn that stuff hot, and you will be fine.
VW says no for more than 10%. Locally the blend is 10% nothing higher from service stations I go to. It indicated that 3 months into 2011 that is when the stuff E15 will be hitting the streets. I am going to chat with the dealer in the morning. Most of the octane level here is 91, nothing higher unless you are running airplane juice. Germany was 93% the average and the sweet stuff Shell Super Plus was pushing 95%.

Running 100 mph on cruise control, excellent gas mileage! I miss those days

Now running 140 mph not on cruise control, 100 miles and down have a tank. The pedal was up and down, traffic sometimes.

A67 from Mannheim to Frankfurt Airport, unlimited speed run until you got to the city speed limit 120 kph (buildup)!
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:45 AM   #4
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http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2010/10/epa-gives-limited-waiver-for-use-of-e15-gasoline/

EPA Gives Limited Waiver For Use Of E15 Gasoline
Increased ethanol levels okayed – but only for vehicles from 2007 or later.

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a controversial proposal to increase the use of ethanol in the nation’s automotive fuel supply – but set strict limits on which vehicles can and can’t use what is referred to as E15.

Initially, only vehicles produced in the 2007 model-year or later will be permitted to fill up on E15, a term that refers to a blend of 85% conventional gasoline and 15% ethanol, an alcohol-based fuel typically produced from grains and other food crops.

Even with that limitation, “That represents more than 1/3 the gasoline consumption today” could be affected by the decision and converted from today’s limit of no more than 10% ethanol, explained EPA Assistant Administrator Regina McCarthy.

And by 2014, as older vehicles head to the junkyard, while newer models take their place, E15 could grow to as much as 50% of the fuel used in the U.S., the EPA official added.

The figures actually may grow even larger. Due to limited resources the environmental agency focused its initial study on relatively new vehicles. It is hoping to complete an expanded study, covering cars, trucks and crossovers produced as far back as the 2001 model-year, with a decision to come by sometime in November or December, according to McCarthy.

Notably, the decision to expand the use of E15 applies to all vehicles from the 2007 model-year on, and not just those labeled “FlexFuel.” That particular category is restricted to vehicles which have specifically been modified to be able to use a fuel blend that’s up 85% ethanol, and known as E85.

To ensure only the approved vehicles will fill up on E15 the EPA is preparing a new label that will go on gasoline pumps across the country advising motorists whether or not they can use the modified fuel blend.

While the proposal potential could generate demand for hundreds of millions of gallons of E15 annually, Asst. Administrator McCarthy acknowledged that the actually use of the gas/alcohol blend may be significantly less.

Refiners and individual station owners will have to evaluate their own capability to blend, distribute and pump E15. Alcohol fuels are more corrosive than conventional gasoline, and even the modest increase from a 10% to 15% blend of ethanol could result in leaks from underground storage tanks, for example, that aren’t properly prepared.

Nonetheless, said McCarthy, the EPA action will help ensure that “alternative fuels will play a greater role in reducing our use of imported oil and the production of greenhouse gases.”

The EPA decision may also encourage individual states that have been acting unilaterally to expand the use of alcohol fuels. Minnesota, for one, has new laws on the books mandating E15.

The new decision is in line with The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which mandated an increase in the overall use of renewable fuels to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Ethanol is one of several renewables being touted for increased use.

Indeed, today’s decision responds to a petition filed in 2009 by 54 separate ethanol suppliers.

In turn, the decision-making process has generated over 78,000 comments, according to the EPA’s logs.

A sizable share were less than favorable. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents 11 makers operating in the U.S., sought to block E15 approval, asserting that testing by its members, notably including General Motors, led to engine damage in some vehicles.

There are other reasons why ethanol is a controversial subject. For one thing, critics argue, it diverts grains like corn away from the nation’s food supply — though there are new, alternate ways to produce the alcohol from stalks and chaff and other bio-wastes. But as the decision on E15 approached there has been a clear rise in the price of corn, for example, partially due to anticipation of higher demand.

The EPA delayed its decision several times before today’s announcement. It is unclear whether any of the E15 opponents will now seek to block the use of the fuel in court.
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:46 AM   #5
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Where do you live where it is limited to 91%? I can still get (I don't) but I could if I wanted to pay for 94%. Have you looked into "winter blend" or whatever it is called for alcohol content?

Anyway, the increase in ethanol agreement was done before BO. I'm not saying anything, but I'm just saying...

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Old 10-14-2010, 04:52 AM   #6
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Where do you live where it is limited to 91%? I can still get (I don't) but I could if I wanted to pay for 94%. Have you looked into "winter blend" or whatever it is called for alcohol content?

Anyway, the increase in ethanol agreement was done before BO. I'm not saying anything, but I'm just saying...
Albuquerque, NM

The increase was agreed before; however, delayed twice until this wonderful day! They were pushing this E15 6 March 2009, from what swordfishingcentral article is saying.

Scary thing, if GM is testing the E15 in their new vehicles and damage is happening to engine components and indication would be to wait until further testing has been completed.

On the wire:
http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/OPEI-Issues-Consumer-Alert-on-New-Ethanol-E15-Fuel-Coming-to-a-Gas-Station-Near-You-1334268.htm

http://www.swordfishingcentral.com/forum/f10/ethanol-e15-15008/
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Old 10-14-2010, 05:38 AM   #7
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Well, heck. With all of the damage, the economy will get better with another cash for clunkers campaign. Wait, what is that I smell? Class action law suit? Oh, wait, I think Pengie just farted.

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Old 10-14-2010, 02:50 PM   #8
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So there will be another gas vending pump for newer cars? I think my car's civil rights are going to be violated here!

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I may have yammered on about this already, but it is still cracking me up.

The other day, my Dad was commenting about how his car doesn't seem to get the fuel economy it did a year or two ago, even though it is very well maintained and has low miles and such. I asked him how he would get all of the people driving long commutes (perceived as BIG fuel users) to buy smaller, more fuel efficient cars if he was the gubmint. I explained that one way to accomplish that goal would be to sabotage the commuters' cars, but that would be challenging, too many cars. An easier way would be to sabotage their fuel to make it less efficient (fewer MPGs) by requiring the use of an additive at the distributer/refinery level. It would be even better for the gubmint boys if the additive was made by a largish voting block that might support the gubmint boys who promoted the additive; perhaps large-scale farmers who grow corn would be a good target. Maybe the gubmint boys could even use a little "stimulus" money to encourage people with older cars to trade them in on newer, more efficient cars for their commuting; maybe that would even be enough to draw in some people without horrendous commutes. Maybe when the EPA revised their MPG calculations for all cars sold in the US a few years ago that was some pre-planning for this boondoggle? This massive shopping fest for cars might even be enough to help out some automakers, hopefully resulting in more votes for and thus job security for those same fore-thinking gubmint boys. As an added bonus for the gubmint boys, the use of that ethanol additive may reduce, ever so slightly, how much foreign oil the US buys without the need for additional oil production on US soil, at least temporarily; this will allow those responsible to claim that this was all done to ensure American economic independence.

So, the gubmint wants commuters to buy more fuel efficient cars, and they get some bought votes in the process, FREAKING BRILLIANT! Of course, some people will have to pay the price: commuters have to spend money on new, more efficient cars; eaters have to spend more for corn products and meat products that were fed the increasingly expensive corn; owners of older cars will probably have to spend more on fuel system maintenance, especially if the ethanol percentage is mandated above the 10-15% most of their fuel pumps can handle.

Kinda makes me think there are some smart people in DC pulling those strings...just wish they were on my side.
from the "random thoughts" thread the other day
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:53 PM   #9
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FYI: Diesel fuel prices will probably go up as well. IIRC they burn diesel to brew the ethanol (or at least they have in the past). How's that for earth friendly?

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Old 10-14-2010, 05:45 PM   #10
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Let's see, Government Motors can't stay afloat on it's own so the government in it's infinate wisdom has decided to increase the fuel economy requirement and give them a less efficient fuel to work with.....BRILLIANT!!! What better way to piss away more money on a company that should be around.

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