U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-M.S.) and David Vitter (R-La.) have introduced legislation to block an increase in the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline. The bill would overturn Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) waivers that allowed gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol (E15) to be used for many passenger cars and light trucks, and would prohibit the agency from granting future waivers for any blends above 10 percent ethanol.
The move comes at the same time as the Florida Legislature is considering a bill to undo the 10 percent ethanol blend requirement in the state. The bill’s supporters said they hope that if the bill becomes law, it will send a message to the federal government that the 10 percent requirement should be eliminated at the federal level.
For months several consumer and oil industry groups, including AAA and the American Petroleum Institute, have urged regulators and fuel producers to stop the sale of E-15, citing the potential for consumer confusion, voided warranties and vehicle damage. AAA said most vehicles aren't approved by manufacturers to run on E15. API and other industry groups recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review an appellate court's ruling that supported the EPA's approval of E15 in vehicle model years 2001 and newer.
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