Press Release

December 1, 2009
Senator Calls Decision in Interest of Environment and Safety

– U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, today praised the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its decision to conduct further testing on fuel blends with higher concentrations of ethanol before allowing these fuels into the marketplace. EPA denied a petition waiver by Growth Energy to allow the use of up to 15 percent ethanol in gasoline (E15). 
Senator Cardin praised EPA's announcement, stating:  “Every day, Americans depend on safe and reliable fuels to power the trucks that bring goods to market and the cars that transport us from one destination to the next. The

Clean Air Act
requires that any new fuel must be thoroughly tested and proven not to contribute to engine failure or fail to meet emissions standards. EPA has done the right thing in upholding its obligation under the

Clean Air Act
to thoroughly test new fuels and to resist the pressure to rush untested and potential harmful fuels to market.”
The Senator also stressed the need for greater testing to protect public safety. 
“In Maryland, the risk of E15 fuel blends going straight to market without proper testing goes well beyond cars and could spell real danger for the thousands of recreational and commercial boaters on the water everyday. Ethanol blended fuel burn hotter than pure gasoline and the more ethanol in a fuel mixture the hotter it burns. The increased heat from burning ethanol blended fuels in boat motors can lead to complete engine failure. If this happens to a recreational boater on Deep Creek Lake in Garret County it may just be a costly and time consuming expense the boat owner has to deal with. However, engine failure on a commercial fishing boat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay or off the coast in the open Atlantic, depending on the weather, can be life threatening. Putting E15 fuels through proper testing before it is brought to market is essential to protecting Maryland’s maritime industries and public safety.”