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AgMag BLOG

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Sound Science Prevails In EPA Ethanol Decision

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

WASHINGTON December 1 –The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said today that it will wait until mid-2010 to decide whether to grant a waiver request that would allow up to 15 percent ethanol in gasoline. Growth Energy, an ethanol trade and lobby group, requested the waiver. EPA based its decision on the need to conduct more tests to determine the higher blend’s impact on engines. Under current federal rules gasoline can contain no more than 10 percent ethanol.

Environmental Working Group Midwest vice-president Craig Cox, who manages EWG’s agriculture programs from its Ames, Iowa, office, said this about EPA’s decision:

“EPA should be congratulated for resisting efforts by the well-funded and politically well-connected ethanol lobby to short-circuit a science-based analysis of corn ethanol’s adverse impacts on engines, public health and the environment. Blending more ethanol into the gasoline supply without conducting a sound scientific analysis of its total impact only serves a narrow constituency of large corn growers and ethanol producers while ignoring the potential risks a blend increase poses to consumers. It’s time we recognize that ethanol has been unable to attain independent viability as a motor fuel despite lavish subsides and mandates, and even more important, that it has been unable to prove that its production and use are beneficial to the environment.”

The corn-ethanol industry has lobbied fiercely for the increase in blend limit, claiming that a government-mandated increase in ethanol use would create more than 130,000 new jobs. But a new EWG report, citing independent university and government research, concludes that ethanol lobbyists have dramatically exaggerated the employment benefits of their proposal, even as automakers and small engine manufacturers warn that a higher ethanol blend could cause serious damage to millions of motors in vehicles, boats and lawn equipment.

View the report, Kernelnomics: The Ethanol Industry’s Inflated Jobs Claims

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