Research group tests show E15 damages vehicle engines

05 17, 2012 by American Petroleum Institute

API’s President and CEO Jack Gerard told reporters this morning that testing by the Coordinating Research Council showed that use of E15 – gasoline with 15 percent ethanol – could harm car and truck engines, potentially affecting millions of cars and trucks. Gerard said despite evidence of incompatibility problems with E15 and service station equipment and incomplete E15 testing in automobile engines, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 for the vast majority of the nation’s cars and light trucks:

“EPA’s decisions in 2010 and 2011 approving E15 ethanol-gasoline blends for most American vehicles were premature and irresponsible. EPA approved E15 knowing ongoing vehicle testing had not been completed. Worse, as API noted in its press briefing two weeks ago, it approved the fuel even though government labs had raised red flags about the compatibility of E15 with much of the dispensing and storage infrastructure at our nation’s gas stations.

“Today, the results of just completed engine testing of E15 by the Coordinating Research Council confirm that EPA did not perform due diligence and moved too quickly in its E15 vetting process. The tests provide strong evidence E15 could damage the engines of many cars and light trucks. The council, known as the CRC, is a non-profit research and testing organization made up of the automobile and oil companies.

“Ironically, EPA’s decisions actually threaten broader use of biofuels. Federal law requires blending of increasing amounts of biofuels in gasoline, and most of the gasoline now sold in America has ethanol in it. Yet, if E15 is introduced and vehicle problems develop, public support for E15 and the federal renewable fuels program could erode.”

API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.