The Envrionmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE) are in the final steps of approving use of E15, a new ethanol-based fuel that will be available at gas stations nationwide. However, automakers are banding together to stop the proposal from going through.
With Ford and Toyota leading the charge, numerous manufacturers, including Honda, BMW, Chrysler, Mercedes, Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen, have written to legislators in an attempt to stop the new fuel from hitting the streets. The groups say that the ethanol blend could have potentially harmful effects on engines and shorten the lifespan of vehicles, the Detroit Free Press reports.
The EPA and DOE claim that the ethanol is safe to use in all engines made since 2001. The use of the fuel is restricted for cars made by prior to that, as well as motorcycles, boats, snowmobiles and virtually all other gas-powered vehicles. However, it appears that the automakers do not agree with that assessment.
Removing themselves from the proceedings was General Motors, who did not support nor condemn the proposal. GM has historically been a big supporter of ethanol-based fuels.
The U.S. has a vested interest in ethanol based fuels. Ethanol comes from corn, meaning it provides support for farmers. Since the gas uses less oil, it also reduces foreign dependence.