Press Release

January 21, 2011
Senators to Continue Efforts to Slow Introduction of Mid-Level Ethanol Blends

Washington, DC –
U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) and Susan Collins (R-ME) criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) approval today of E15 fuels for older cars, a decision that will put consumers at risk and has the potential to damage more than 200 million cars and small engines not approved for the use of such fuel blends.
“The EPA has yet to offer an adequate plan to protect consumers who operate older cars and trucks, boats as well as the operators of small engine equipment like generators, and lawnmowers, from the dangers of misfueling with E15. Tests show these engines do not perform well with mid-level ethanol blends, so I am at a loss as to why the EPA would allow broader use of E15 at this stage,”
said Senator Cardin. “Misfuelings present very real safety hazards and the high cost of repairs or replacements of damaged equipment or engines will be difficult for many to absorb.  The EPA should pull back and reconsider its plan that will rush E15 to market.”
“I am disappointed EPA has issued another waiver for E15.  Many Mainers have already experienced problems using gasoline with E10, finding that it causes problems in older cars, snowmobiles, snowblowers, boats, and lawn mowers,”
said Senator Collins.  “Too many engines could conceivably be damaged by the introduction of new fuel blends containing higher amounts of ethanol.   EPA must not only take steps to prevent consumer confusion and dangerous misfueling, but also ensure that our nation’s fuel supply remains compatible and safe for older and non-road engines that are in such widespread use today.  We simply cannot place so many engines in jeopardy through EPA's unwarranted actions.”
Senators Collins and Cardin introduced legislation in 2009 that would have helped ensure

that new gasoline fuel mixtures introduced into the marketplace are compatible with gasoline-fueled engines already in widespread use.  The
Mid-Level Ethanol Blends Act would have required the EPA to examine
E15’s performance and report on the ability to introduce E15 fuel into the marketplace without confusing consumers or causing dangerous misfueling of engines that cannot tolerate this mixture. 
The Senators plan to continue their efforts to help ensure the nation’s fuel supply is safe for older and non-road engines in the 112
th Congress.