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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

August 9, 2012 - 10:50 am

The Environmental Protection Agency is going to require all consumers to buy at least four gallons of gasoline from certain gas pumps after the new E15 ethanol-gasoline blend is introduced into the market.

The new regulation was revealed in an Aug. 1 letter to the American Motorcyclist Association, which expressed concern that the vast majority of motorcycles and ATVs in use today aren’t designed to operate on E15 fuel and residual fuel from a pump that serves multiple blends might harm these tanks.

“The use of E15 will lower fuel efficiency and possibly cause premature engine failure,” Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations, wrote in a June 20 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. “Use of E15 fuel voids many manufacturer warranties. In off-road engines, the effects can even be dangerous for users.”

The EPA responded that it requires that retail stations with blender pumps either dispense E15 from a dedicated hose and nozzle if able or, in the case of E15 and E10 being dispensed from the same hose, require that at least four gallons of fuel be purchased to prevent vehicles and engines with smaller fuel tanks from being exposed to gasoline-ethanol blended fuels containing greater than 10 percent ethanol.

This minimum mandate attempts to dilute residual amounts of E15 that will be left in the shared hose.

“Not only do we find it unacceptable for the EPA to mandate that everyone — including our members — buy minimum amounts of gas, but the EPA answer simply won’t work because of the sizes of many motorcycle and ATV gas tanks and the fact that off-highway riders take containers of gas with them on their trips, and most times those containers are much smaller than four gallons,” Allard said.

“The EPA has no business mandating how much gasoline Americans have to buy when filling up at the pump. What if a rider doesn’t have a motorcycle with a four gallon tank? Or if someone wants to fill a canister for their lawnmower or outboard boat engine, but it only holds 2 or 3 gallons?” Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) said today.

“Or what if an American, struggling in this economy, just can’t afford 4 gallons of gas?” Sensenbrenner added. “This is just one more example of how problematic the EPA’s E15 partial waiver is. This is not a solution to misfueling risks — it’s a ridiculous and unworkable mandate.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
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