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Sound Science Trumps Special Interests In EPA Ethanol Blend Decision

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

WASHINGTON December 1 – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it would wait until mid-2010 to decide on whether to grant a waiver request that would allow for the use of up to 15 percent ethanol in gasoline. Growth Energy, an ethanol trade and lobby group, requested the waiver. EPA based their decision on the need to conduct more tests to determine a higher blend's impact on engines.

Environmental Working Group Midwest vice-president Craig Cox issued the following statement on EPA's decision. Cox manages EWG's agriculture programs from EWG's Ames, IA office.

"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 for use, and even more important, has been unable to prove that its production and use are beneficial to the environment," Cox said.

The corn-ethanol industry has lobbied fiercely for the increase in blend limit, claiming that a government-forced increase in ethanol use would create over 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, Kernalnomics: The Ethanol Industry's Inflated Jobs Claims


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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG's farm subsidy database and related reports and analysis on the impact modern agriculture has on the environment can be found at

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