From Senator Tom Harkin:
Harkin: Decision to Expand E15 in Vehicles is Welcome Step; Senior lawmaker vows to continue effort for all vehicles, not just new models
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today applauded the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) announcement that it will approve gasoline blends containing up to 15 percent ethanol (also known as E15) for year 2007 and newer vehicles. Harkin, however, expressed disappointment that a decision has not yet been made on 2001-2006 vehicles and that the agency will deny the waiver for year 2000 and older vehicles and for off-road engines. In recent months, Harkin has been the lead voice in the U.S. Senate urging EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE) to approve E15 for all gasoline vehicles.
"It is important that we continue our effort to promote biofuels and reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil. This is an effort that is good for the environment and for our nation's energy security and one that will grow our economy while creating good, 'green' jobs in Iowa and across the county," said Harkin. "Today's announcement is a welcome step in this effort - one that has been a long time coming - and I am pleased that EPA and DOE have moved forward and approved E15 for 2007 and newer vehicles.
"In addition to promoting E15 - and even higher percentage blends - for vehicles, there is much more to do as part of our overall strategy to promote and grow the biofuels industry. I intend to urge action in Congress that will enable expanding markets for biofuels by increasing the number of blender pump stations across the country, increasing flex -fuel vehicles and incentivizing the construction of biofuels pipelines from production states to more populous areas. I also remain hopeful that the Administration will finish testing soon and announce their decision to approve E15 for use in 2001-2006 vehicles, as well as reconsider its unfortunate decision to deny the waiver for vehicles older than 2000."
As the former Chairman and now senior member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Harkin has been a long-time leader in promoting the production and use of biofuels as an important part of the nation's energy strategy. Recent Harkin initiatives and actions aimed at promoting E15 and other biofuels include :
On August 4, Harkin led a bipartisan group of senators in introducing an amendment to the pending energy bill to expand the U.S. biofuels market by increasing the percentage of vehicles manufactured for sale in the U.S. that are flex-fuel capable; increasing the number of blender pumps at refueling stations so more consumers can buy fuels with higher percentages of ethanol; and authorizing loan guarantees for renewable fuel pipelines. More information can be found here.
On August 2, Harkin convened a meeting between a bipartisan group of senators and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman to urge prompt approval of E15 ethanol blend for use in all gasoline-fueled vehicles. At the meeting, Harkin urged for the approval of E-15, as well as E-20, which EPA is also reviewing. More information can be found here.
On June 28, Harkin and six other senators wrote to President Obama urging his Administration to move rapidly to integrate biofuels into the nation's transportation fuel supply. In the letter, the senators expressed concern that the Department of Energy (DOE) had not yet completed testing of higher blends of ethanol in gasoline, which would allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to approve the use of gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol. More information can be found here.
On June 23, Harkin spoke on the Senate floor expressing his disappointment in EPA and DOE's delay in making a decision on E-15 and calling for an end to the delay. Audio of that can be found here.
From Senator Grassley:
EPA E15 Ruling Takes a Step Instead of Leap in the Right Direction
WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency decided on a waiver request to allow ethanol to be blended with gasoline at 15 percent, rather than the 10 percent that is allowed today. Ethanol producers filed the waiver petition back in March of 2009. A decision was supposed to be made by December of 2009, but it had been delayed again and again.
"While I'm glad to see that at long last the EPA has finally made a decision, I am frustrated that the EPA is approving E15 only for vehicles that are model year 2007 and newer. The fact is, that covers only about 20 percent of vehicles on the road today," Grassley said. "The gains, while useful to the industry, are small in comparison to a full and complete waiver for E15 use in all vehicles."
"The announcement unnecessarily complicates the fuel-supply chain and undermines real progress that a waiver for all vehicles would have provided to America's domestic renewable fuel producers. It's a matter of both energy independence and jobs," Grassley said.
From Governor Quinn
CHICAGO - October 13, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today applauded the decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to waive the limitation on selling fuel that contains more than 10 percent ethanol for newer vehicles.
The waiver specifically allows all 2007 and newer model year cars and light trucks to be able to use up to 15 percent ethanol, known as E15. The decision on whether to allow model year 2001 to 2006 vehicles to use E15 is still under consideration.
"This is an important step that will increase our energy security by relying more on the natural resources grown throughout Illinois. This will protect the environment, expand our economy, support our farmers and create more Illinois jobs. We are hopeful that biofuels will continue playing an even larger role in our energy portfolio. It's the right decision for Illinois and our country to lessen our dependence on foreign oil," said Governor Quinn.
The use of gasoline with 10 percent ethanol is widely available and used in Illinois. The state of Illinois also has one of the largest networks of E85 stations that dispense to certain vehicles designed to burn E85.
The Illinois Jobs Now! capital program that Governor Quinn signed into law last year includes $15 million that will improve water and energy conservation, add value to bio-fuel co-products and by-products, adopt fractionation processes, and utilize corn fiber and cellulosic conversion at biofuel facilities.