Last week a group of bipartisan senators requested information from the EPA about why E15 has not been approved. Some answers are finally filtering through. After a meeting with EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and a Department of Energy (DOE) official on Monday a few answers were revealed.
The EPA’s request for additional testing of the engine effects from fuel with 15% ethanol was prompted, according to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) because the EPA expects to be sued by opponents of E15. Environmentalists have teamed up with small engine manufacturers and the oil industry and are expected to sue the EPA. The collection of additional data is to ensure E15 can remain in the market once it is opened.
Senators were also encouraged to hear evaluation of E20 is also being conducted by the DOE. Such evaluations could provide the EPA with the basis to approve E20 and E15. However, it will take some time and higher blends will likely not be available to consumers until sometime in 2011.