AAA Statement on EPA’s Renewable Fuels Standard Targets

Michael Green Contact TileWASHINGTON, (May 29, 2015) – AAA released the following statement by its President, Marshall Doney, in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed targets for the Renewable Fuels Standard.

“AAA is pleased to see the EPA acknowledge that there are real-world constraints that limit the amount of ethanol that can be safely blended into the fuel supply. Official recognition of the ‘blend wall’ may help protect consumers from using E15 gasoline in vehicles not designed for its use.

“It is too early to know whether the proposed targets will impact consumers given the uncertainties in future fuel demand. While ethanol can support jobs and promote energy independence, the EPA must ensure that the fuel consumers use does not lead to costly repairs due to misfueling.”

The volume of ethanol originally required by Congress in the Renewable Fuels Standard is likely to exceed 10 percent of the fuel supply. Exceeding this level is known as the “blend wall,” given that most gasoline contains 10 percent ethanol. Blenders unable to meet RFS requirements would be subject to significant fines, which could restrict gasoline supplies and lead to higher gas prices.

More than 85 percent of the vehicles on the road today are not approved by manufacturers to use E15, including nearly all 2001-2013 models. E15 is only approved for use by automakers in flex-fuel engines, 2001 and newer Porsches, and selected 2012 and newer vehicles where it is clearly specified in the owner’s manual. Sustained use of E15 gasoline in vehicles not designed for its use could result in significant problems such as accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false check engine lights. Automakers are on record as saying their warranties will not cover claims caused by E15 in vehicles not designed to run on the fuel.

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