Oil Industry Financed Study Questions Ease Of Raising Ethanol Blends

October 2010 Vol. 237 No. 10

Raising the amount of ethanol in gasoline blends would be much more complicated than ethanol supporters claim, according to the authors of a study commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute.

Introducing higher blends of ethanol into gasoline sold at pumps across the U.S. would require changes in federal and state fuel-blending requirements, the distribution system of pipelines, tanks and pumps and
labeling requirements, said analysts at Sierra Research who completed the study. The Environmental Protection Agency is to decide whether to raise the amount of ethanol that may be blended into gasoline to 15% from 10% of each gallon.

“Our study found that the introduction of higher-level blends into the marketplace is not simple or straightforward. There are many changes that need to be made to federal, state, and local requirements as well as issues with vehicle warranties and the country’s fuel distribution and marketing infrastructure,” Jim Lyons, a senior partner at Sierra Research, said in a news release.

EPA scientists reportedly found no problem with increasing the amount of ethanol after conducting a series of tests last year. At that time, the agency indicated it was likely to approve the new fuel-blend after it completed its rulemaking, Platts reported.

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