In light of the recent EPA approval of E15 for the commercial marketplace and first availability of E15 at a Kansas gas station, the American Petroleum Institute issued a warning to drivers, urging them to avoid using E15.
"We need to press the pause button on EPA's rush to allow higher amounts of ethanol in our gasoline," said Bob Greco, API downstream group director. "The new fuel could lead to engine damage in more than 5 million vehicles on the road today and could void the manufacturer's warranty."
But, despite API claims, the Renewable Fuels Association maintains E15 safety.
"If you take the argument of API and other biofuel critics to its logical conclusion, based on the study they cite, they should be warning Americans against using so-'called 'clear gasoline' as well given that vehicles failed in their limited testing on that fuel also," said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen.
The study cited by the API is the same Coordinating Research Council study that was questioned for its accuracy in June by four Iowa Congressmen, who asserted that the vehicles used in the study had pre-existing flaws, and that a proper control group was not established.
The congressmembers issued a letter following release of the study, including commentary from the Department of Energy which highlighted its flaws: "We believe the choice of test engines, test cycle, limited fuel selection, and failure criteria of the CRC program resulted in unreliable and incomplete data, which severely limits the utility of the study."
RFA called the study "highly questionable," and Dinneen remained firm about the safety of E15 for 2001 and newer vehicles. He said E15 has been the most thoroughly tested fuel in American history.
"Ethanol has been a safe and effective fuel component in wide use for more than three decades. It's time to move past the nonsense and constructively work to bring Americans the choice at the pump they want and deserve," Dinneen said.