EPA approves E15 ethanol waiver for model 2007 and newer vehicles | TSLN.com

EPA approves E15 ethanol waiver for model 2007 and newer vehicles

In a move that could drive up feed costs, the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday (Oct. 13) approved E15 ethanol. The action removes a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10 percent ethanol – whose primary source today is corn – for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. The waiver applies to fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol – known as E15 – and only to model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks.

The reaction to the EPA announcement included approval from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), strong criticism from NCBA and comments from members of Congress that the EPA didn’t go far enough. A sampling of comments:

AFBF President Bob Stallman said the action is a “step toward strengthening America’s commitment to home-grown energy…increasing the percentage of ethanol in the domestic gasoline supply moves our nation one step closer to energy independence.” AFBF didn’t directly address producers’ concerns about higher feed costs if there is a major increase in ethanol production, but noted that currently the primary source of ethanol is corn; however, other grains or biomass sources may be used, including sorghum, corn cobs, cornstalks and switchgrass.

NCBA President Steve Foglesong said the action is “yet another example of adding financial burdens to all users of corn…corn ethanol production is significant to the cattle industry because of its impact on feed grain prices. NCBA’s members strongly oppose mandated production and increasing government intervention that artificially inflates the cost of feed ingredients. This waiver is a step to more government mandates.”

Sen. Mike Johanns criticized the limited waiver, saying it raises questions about “EPA’s commitment to renewable fuels” and is another example of “this administration’s continued failure to stand up for domestic, renewable fuels and American farmers.” Corn state Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin said he will seek even higher ethanol percentage blends beyond E15. He, and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) said they remain hopeful the administration will finish its testing and approve E15 for use in 2001-2006 vehicles. Harkin also called on the government to “reconsider its unfortunate decision to deny the waiver for vehicles older than 2000.”

National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Ethanol Task Force Chairman Randy Spronk reacted cautiously. He said NPPC is withholding comment on “raising the blend rate to E15…until we can consult with our economists.” But he noted that any upward pressure on corn prices will have a negative effect on producers.

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In a move that could drive up feed costs, the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday (Oct. 13) approved E15 ethanol. The action removes a limitation on selling fuel that is more than 10 percent ethanol – whose primary source today is corn – for model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks. The waiver applies to fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol – known as E15 – and only to model year 2007 and newer cars and light trucks.

The reaction to the EPA announcement included approval from the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), strong criticism from NCBA and comments from members of Congress that the EPA didn’t go far enough. A sampling of comments:

AFBF President Bob Stallman said the action is a “step toward strengthening America’s commitment to home-grown energy…increasing the percentage of ethanol in the domestic gasoline supply moves our nation one step closer to energy independence.” AFBF didn’t directly address producers’ concerns about higher feed costs if there is a major increase in ethanol production, but noted that currently the primary source of ethanol is corn; however, other grains or biomass sources may be used, including sorghum, corn cobs, cornstalks and switchgrass.

NCBA President Steve Foglesong said the action is “yet another example of adding financial burdens to all users of corn…corn ethanol production is significant to the cattle industry because of its impact on feed grain prices. NCBA’s members strongly oppose mandated production and increasing government intervention that artificially inflates the cost of feed ingredients. This waiver is a step to more government mandates.”

Sen. Mike Johanns criticized the limited waiver, saying it raises questions about “EPA’s commitment to renewable fuels” and is another example of “this administration’s continued failure to stand up for domestic, renewable fuels and American farmers.” Corn state Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin said he will seek even higher ethanol percentage blends beyond E15. He, and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD) said they remain hopeful the administration will finish its testing and approve E15 for use in 2001-2006 vehicles. Harkin also called on the government to “reconsider its unfortunate decision to deny the waiver for vehicles older than 2000.”

National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) Ethanol Task Force Chairman Randy Spronk reacted cautiously. He said NPPC is withholding comment on “raising the blend rate to E15…until we can consult with our economists.” But he noted that any upward pressure on corn prices will have a negative effect on producers.

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