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Senators Endorse Bill To Overturn E15 Waivers

Sens. Wicker and Vitter say E15 contributes to engine wear

Published on: Feb 22, 2013

U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and David Vitter, R-La., last week introduced legislation to block an increase in the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline, aiming to overturn Environmental Protection Agency waivers that allowed gasoline containing 15% ethanol to be used for many passenger cars and light trucks. The Wicker-Vitter bill would also prohibit the EPA Administrator from granting any waiver for a blend above 10% ethanol

Both Wicker and Vitter say the higher blend of ethanol can cause engine damage, reduce fuel efficiency, and contribute to higher corn prices and rising food costs for American consumers.

"EPA's flawed waivers allowing E15 amount to government bureaucrats issuing short-sighted regulations that negatively impact families and businesses across the country," Wicker said.  "The concerns surrounding E15 that existed prior to the waivers have increased instead of diminishing."

Sens. Wicker and Vitter say E15 is harmful, contributing to engine wear
Sens. Wicker and Vitter say E15 is harmful, contributing to engine wear

But, after February's oil price boom, Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said the bill does nothing more than take choices away from consumers.

"This legislation is denying consumers the voluntary choice of a less expensive, higher performing fuel," Buis said in a press statement. "After 35 days of increasing gas prices, and record costs, isn't it time we did something different?  Why are lawmakers fighting to embrace our dependence on foreign oil and the failed status quo? This legislation places the heavy hand of government on the scales in favor of one industry over another, preventing the free market from operating as it should. American motorists should have the ability to choose their fuel based on price and performance, not a monopoly at the pump."

Buis also pointed out a Department of Energy study that tested 86 cars for more than six million miles without any durability issues, and NASCAR cars using the fuel for more than three million miles.

Yet, Vitter says it is irresponsible for EPA to allow E15 without sufficient testing and technical analysis.

"I support an all-inclusive energy strategy, but experimenting before understanding the consequences and potential cost of using E15 is unfair to consumers," Vitter noted.

EPA issued two waivers to permit the use of E15 – the first, in 2010, was for use in cars and light trucks model year 2007 or later.  The second, in 2011, allowed E15 to be used in vehicles model year 2001 to 2006.

The Senators also pointed out November 2012 AAA claims that E15 could cause possible engine damage. AAA noted that it found in a survey a strong likelihood of consumer confusion and the potential for voided warranties and vehicle damage as a result of E15 availablity and/or use.  Ethanol groups largely dismissed AAA claims.

Click here to read a copy of the Wicker-Vitter bill.

Add Comment
  1. Ray of Wallace Farmer says:

    Just put Reg. gas in your saw or mower! You have a choice.

  2. Anonymous says:


  3. Anonymous says:

    NASCAR uses it, so what, they rebuild their engines after each race, not something I want to do on my truck. Not to mention that boats, motorcycles, lawn mowers and weedeaters are not designed to run on E15.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I want a choice at the pump. I am tired of having this shoved down my throat. And renewable fuels telling how good it is . It is a damn poor and inefficient fuel being produced at the expense of the american taxpayer. If it is so good let stand on it's own merits. Get the government out of picking winners and losers. This is a loser

  5. Anonymous says:

    The U.S. has been fighting wars in the middle-east to protect our energy supplies for years. We need to elect our leaders that promote energy independence for our country instead of sending our troops to fight for an energy supply. Wicker and Vitter need to stand up for our country instead of taking contributions into their campaign coffers from BIG OIL.Shame on you two.Don Easley, a loyal American wanting energy independence for our country.2-22-13@7:35PM.

    • shar says:

      I am tired of having leaky fuel lines and other parts in chain saws. This never used to be a problem. I now put fuel in just before using. If the saws sit for a day it leaks out of most of them. Expensive, messy, and bad for the environment.

  6. Anonymous says:

    These 2 clowns Wicker & Vitter obviously don't know up from down. Why are'nt they doing something about the high gas prices @ the pump? Probably because the oil company's are filling their wallets. Ford, GM, Chrysler sell the same cars in Brazil and can burn higher rates of ethanol but apparently these same vehicles here in the US can't? Instead of going after the ethanol industry maybe they should be trying to get more Americans back to work. It goes to show where are priorities are in this country. They should be ashamed of themseleves.