WASHINGTON—Legislation to prohibit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from allowing the commercial use of gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol was introduced in the U.S. Senate Feb. 14.
S. 344, introduced by Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and co-sponsored by Sen. David Vitter, R-La., has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. No hearings have yet been scheduled.
Organizations such as the Specialty Equipment Market Association and the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers declared their support for the legislation.
SEMA has long opposed the commercial introduction of E15, gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol, which the EPA approved for sale to vehicles made after the 2001 model year. E15 can damage vehicle engines, hoses and other parts, SEMA said, especially in the collector vehicles beloved of SEMA members.
"This bill continues our efforts to block the sale of E15, and reinforces our contention that there aren't enough studies to demonstrate the effects of E15," said Stuart Gosswein, SEMA senior director for federal government affairs.
In prohibiting the use of E15 in vehicles manufactured before 2001, the EPA acknowledges the corrosive effects of the fuel, Gosswein said. SEMA also feels the safeguards the agency has put in place to prevent vehicle owners from inadvertently using E15 are inadequate.
"A label on the gas pump is insufficient to protect motorists," Gosswein said.
AFPM also reiterated its opposition to E15.
"The fact that EPA would allow a fuel in the marketplace that it knows will threaten existing engines and refueling infrastructure is inconceivable and is a glaring example of EPA's willingness to place politics ahead of science," said AFPM President Charles T. Drevna.