Government Motors Joins Anti-Ethanol Crusade

This might make things interesting, as the past few years have demonstrated the extent to which certain aspects of G.M. have clout in Washington: Automakers want House to block 15 percent ethanol blend. Also consider the obvious irony of a partially government-funded/owned company opposing policy supported by the Obama administration — the “slam on the breaks while hitting the gas approach.”

The Big 3 hadn’t been too loud on this issue, though they did join a lawsuit attempting to prevent EPA from approving the fuel late last year. Representative Sullivan (R-OK), as previously mentioned here, has introduced an amendment (of which there are almost 600 introduced amendments) to be attached to the CR which would de-fund EPA’s ability to introduce E15.

Much like the strange bedfellows who opposed the extension of the VEETC last year, the article notes:

“Our organizations rarely agree on any public policy issue, but we are united in opposing the premature introduction of E15,” said the letter that was also signed by the American Bakers Association; American Meat Institute; American Petroleum Institute; National Petrochemical & Refiners Association; National Turkey Federation; Outdoor Power Equipment Institute; and Specialty Equipment Market Association.

While testing done on vehicles from MY 2001-present have been confirmed by the EPA as able to handle blends of E15, a positive conclusion has not been reached for a number of other engine types (motorboat, lawnmower, etc.). Some manufacturers of non-automobile engines have stated they already struggle with E10, which is commonly sold throughout the United States, and are very concerned with the declining availability of gasoline without ethanol in it as well as increased damage by misfueling.

It’s hard to tell who would support this amendment. Most Congressman don’t consider ethanol to be a big issue, and the farm-belt will stand behind it. Many Democrats don’t support the extension of ethanol policy but might see this issue framed as an attack on the EPA which they would feel inclined to defend.