A little search for recent stories on the fate of E15 (gasoline with 15 percent ethanol blended in) in the U.S. shows how the tide seems to be turning in favor of expansion of the biofuel here. The EPA is considering it, the Minnesota Ag Department says E20 is just fine for fuel pumps, the Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, supports a E15 or E20 blend, and Underwriters Laboratories said it will allow E15 in UL87 pumps. With all the push for E15, what could possibly go wrong?
Well, a lot of things. The latest comes from the Wall Street Journal, which points out that most automobile warranties clearly state that only ethanol blends up to ten percent (E10) are covered (flex fuel vehicles being excepted, of course). If the nation's gasoline supply becomes full of E15, then who's responsible for fixing something when it breaks? While automakers are cautious (with good reason), American farmers are pushing for the higher ethanol blend. After all, about 25 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. already goes into the biofuel but the ethanol industry is still in trouble. A bigger slice of the pie would mean more demand for the yellow grain.
Photo by Frapestaartje. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.