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EPA Should Require Clear Labels and Warnings for All Ethanol Blends

EPA Should Require Clear Labels and Warnings for All Ethanol Blends

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a partial waiver last year to allow the sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) in flexible-fuel or Model Year 2007 and newer vehicles. Most gasoline currently sold in the U.S. contains 10 percent ethanol (E10). EPA will decide in January 2011 whether to allow use of E15 in Model Year 2001 through 2006 vehicles. Vehicles made before 2001 are prohibited from using E15 because it can cause severe engine damage.

In connection with the decision to introduce E15 blends, EPA requested comments on a rule to prevent "misfueling" so that consumers will know not to purchase the wrong blend of ethanol for their vehicles and motors. Environmental Working Group (EWG) submitted detailed recommendations, which can be read here.

"Contrary to the ethanol lobby's views, consumers deserve more, not less, information when choosing what fuel to purchase," said Sheila Karpf, EWG Legislative and Policy Analyst. "Since older or small engines can be severely damaged by running on higher ethanol fuels, all blends – not just E15 ­– should have clear, consistent, unbiased and detailed labels to ensure that consumers are fully informed about their choices."

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