SEMA Opposes Court’s Decision to Allow E15 Content in Gasoline

Aug 20, 2012

SEMA is urging Congress to ban the use of E15 after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the the EPA’s authority to grant a partial waiver for 15-percent ethanol (E15) content in gasoline for 2001-and-newer model year cars and light trucks.

SEMA opposes E15 because it causes corrosion with incompatible parts. Ethanol increases water formation, which can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber, according to a press release sent out by the association.

Since the lawsuit has been dismissed, SEMA is urging the Congress to enact legislation to ban the sale of E15.

“[This] decision is disappointing for the millions of motorists who own older cars, or those with high-performance specialty parts,” said Steve McDonald, SEMA’s vice president of government affairs, in the association’s press release. “These vehicles and parts are threatened with destruction by E15’s chemical properties.”

The EPA did acknowledge the damage E15 could cause, but took no additional steps to ensure that incompatible vehicles and engines were not misfueled with E15, except for requiring specific labeling, according to McDonald.

SEMA is seeking passage of HR 3199, federal legislation that would prevent the EPA from bringing E15 into the marketplace until a study has been conducted on how gasoline blended with 15-20-percent ethanol would impact gas-powered vehicles. Issues that would be considered in the study would be tailpipe emissions, materials compatibility and fuel efficiency.

HR 3199 has been approved by the U.S. House Science Committee and is currently pending on the House floor. For more information, click here.