EPA’s engine destroying gas may be coming soon

By Rebekah Rast — Nine gas stations in the nation now have pumps with E15 gasoline.

E15 is a blend of regular gasoline mixed with 15 percent ethanol.  The pumps are recognized by their black and orange labels.

And that label is not something you want to ignore.

In an effort to curb U.S. dependency on gasoline and oil — foreign and domestic — the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of E15 gasoline for vehicle models 2001 and newer.

However controversy surrounds this new blend and whether or not it is safe for your vehicle.

Many automobile companies as well as the American Automobile Association (AAA) warn against the use of this fuel blend for anything but Flexible Fuel Vehicles, 2012 and newer General Motors vehicles, 2013 Fords and 2001 and later model Porsches.

A USA Today article quoted AAA President and CEO Robert Darbelnet explaining, “It is clear that millions of Americans are unfamiliar with E15, which means there is a strong possibility that many may improperly fill up using this gasoline and damage their vehicle.”

He went onto say that, “BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and VW have said their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by E15. Ford, Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have said E15 use will void warranties.”

The reasons: potential corrosive damage to fuel lines, gaskets and other engine components.

Nonetheless, the EPA along with a host of ethanol and renewable energy backers say E15 is perfectly safe for your vehicle.

In a CNBC video, Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen said E15 is “absolutely safe” to put in cars.

Taking these competing views into consideration, if you have a vehicle model year 2001 and newer, is the E15 blend a wise choice for you?

A study done the by Coordinating Research Council (CRC) investigated the effects of E20, E15 and E0 ethanol blends on several non-Flexible Fuel Vehicles in use today.  The study concluded that “out of eight different tested engine types, one had a design that was (in retrospect) inappropriate for the test cycle, two failed on E20 and E15, and five passed on E20 and by assumption E15 and E0.”

Therefore, two popular gasoline engines used in vehicle model years 2001 through 2009 had mechanical failures when tested with E15 and E20 blends.  The study also concluded that the “majority of the failures can be linked to issues with valve seats, either related to material or wear/deformation.”

Even more alarming, according to an AAA survey of its members, 95 percent of them don’t know what E15 is or the possible effects it could have on their vehicle.  AAA is asking the EPA to hold off implementing this new blend until more testing can be done and more education given to vehicle owners.

Because of this conflict of opinion between automakers and the EPA about the safety of E15, many gas station operators are holding off on investing in the new E15 pumps.

However, there is a push out of D.C. to get these operators to start installing these pumps.  The 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels be used by 2022.

Last year, about 13.9 billion gallons of ethanol were produced; well on the way to the target number of 36 billion gallons.  For comparison, in 2011, the U.S. consumed about 134 billion gallons of gasoline.  Already, about 10 percent of our gasoline contains ethanol.

Though this is celebrated by renewable energy supporters, ethanol producers and this current administration, this push towards ethanol hasn’t come without a price.

This year has been a dry and hot one for the most the U.S., including the Midwest where much of the corn is produced.  The USDA projects a corn crop of 10.8 billion bushels, or a decline of more than 12 percent from last year’s crop of about 12.4 billion bushels.

Of course this drop in corn production increases the price of corn — and other foods as well.

The UK Guardian reports, “The price of corn, the staple crop of much of the Midwest and the prairies, has risen by a third in the past month and rose again on Wednesday after a US government report said farmers would not yield as much from their parched fields as expected. Higher prices are likely to be passed on in the cost of hamburgers and steak and also affect a range of other foods such as corn flakes and bread.”

Is the use of ethanol as gasoline worth increased food prices in this economy?

Likely no, especially if the use of ethanol doesn’t mix well with your car’s engine.

Though E15 is likely to be sold at a lower price, due to subsidies to ethanol producers and to spur consumers to make the switch, there is a case to be made that most cars on the road today simply aren’t ready.

Beware of the orange and black label.

Rebekah Rast is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) and NetRightDaily.com.  You can follow her on twitter at @RebekahRast.

  • El Visitador

    The manuals on our 2004 VW, our 2006 VW and our 2008 smart all clearly indicate that the warranty on the car is void if the car is fueled with gasoline containing more that 10% ethanol.

    This is not even a point of discussion.

  • Greg137

    Boycott or Blaacklist E15 and don’t buy it! Get deisel if you have to or if it is unavoidable pour a cap of motor oil in the ethenol fuel to help counter the effects… If all else fail go to your motor shop, and ask if you can get steam conversion for your motor I mean if you are dooming your engine to get flooded by water you might as well rely on the souce itself, then you can put a condenser on the exhaust and possition it above the fuel tank, so you can reuse the water to get the most out of it… But other wise look elsewhere like for your fuel, like propane or natural gas conversion… There are better alternatives to E15… Even old fashioned lead based gasoline(everything old is new again) is better than E15…

  • Sebring65

    Know that little primer bulb on your lawnmower? melts in three months with E-15. I’m just saying…

  • DAY

    WHEN YOU FACTOR IN THE COST AND USE OF DIESEL TO RUN THE TRACTORS TO GROW CORN, THEN THE COST AND USE OF COAL TO RUN POWER PLANTS TO MAKE ELECTRICITY TO PROCESS THE CORN, AND THE LOSS OF MPG AND SUBSEQUENT EXTRA OIL AND GASOLINE BURNED AS A RESULT, I DON’T THINK THERE IS REALLY ANY LESS DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL HERE. THE ONLY REASON WE ARE NOW SEEING A DROP IN IMPORTING FOREIGN OIL, IS BECAUSE THE ECONOMY IS SO BAD, PEOPLE ARE NOT DRIVING AS MUCH. I FOR ONE HAD TO FORGO A TRIP THIS YEAR IN MY MOTOR HOME DUE TO THE HIGH COST OF DIESEL. I NEED TO VISIT MY PROPERTY IN TENN AND GET IT READY TO LIVE ON WHEN THE DOLLAR CRASHES. WE ARE SCREWED

  • Snake

    I have a generator that required engine repairs after using E-10
    My 2010 Kia says anything above 10% ethanol voids the warranty.
    I can hardly wait to see what happens.

  • HadEnuf

    The necessary REVOLUTION nighs! These Godless, anti-American communists are going to LEGISLATE America into the Third World Totalitarian Oligarchy that it is approaching, if not already there! They, the communists are inviting a REVOLUTION, as the people have no more say in their governance and I am more than ready to oblige these freedom robbing ghouls, as should the rest of AMERIKA! WAKE UP, WISE UP, RISE UP!

  • Rod D

    Mixed blends with ethenol, should not be used with performance vehicles, with compression ratio at or above 10.1. Will not burn clean, and will harm valves and injectors. Also reduce HP by 15%. That crap may work in a lawn mower, or edger, maybe.

  • Goyo

    Hilarious. Global
    warming (not enough evidence doesn’t exist), random toxins (same thing), But
    this fuel additive MAY (no hard evidence) damage your car! Now that’s something
    to really worry about. Screw the environment, this may damage your fuel
    line!

  • craig

    time to sue the epa .ethanol is junk gas

  • 2pvtyork17

    Who made the EPA the head engineer over cars and trucks? from what I know( Ispent 40yrs in industry) they are an inept group of polititions just lookin for fines and the ol brass metals from Uncle O’Vomit

  • beancrisp

    DEATH TO WATERMELONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • wtram46

    Part of Ovomits plan of destruction for us!! Set us to walking!!!!

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  • dislike EPA

    If you want to the ethanol can be removed by forcing phase seperation. Get one of the beer brewing kits, the plastic fermentation tank has a valve on the bottom which is used to drain out the ethanol. Air temperature of 60 degrees F You mix water at the same percentage as the ethanol and mix well, it will look milky, let it sit may take 1 hour maybe longer, and the water, ethanol will drop to the bottom, start with 91 octane and you get 84 after removing the ethanol so an octane booster additive is needed. The ethanol can be used for starting charcoal.

  • Jim

    I’m picking up my pitchfork and my torch and I am falling in right next to you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/merlyn.mcfarland Merlyn Mcfarland

    I think the ‘H’ fuel cell is worth looking at. Conserve gas, make your own fuel cell, less pollution, more corn to eat if no E-15 is made. Make a cell for $20.00. This is what I’m going to do. Experiment. Also, LEGALIZE HEMP! Fuel can be made from HEMP. Hemp is NOT mj. You do NOT smoke HEMP. Wise up folks and don’t let our govt., big oil, or big Ethenol bullshit you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YT64AM6TLXHZL2ARKEL7CCKV3Q Arnie

    It may be necessary for the EPA and Obama to use a combination of sulfuric acid and urine to run their cars or made to drink the combination in order to demonstrate their desire to have reusable consumption for their gastrointestinal system.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YT64AM6TLXHZL2ARKEL7CCKV3Q Arnie

    It seems that Egypt is protecting their new Pharaoh with tanks lined up in front of his palace. I too have purchased one of the latest Abrams A1-M1 tanks with nuclear tipped missiles and heading to Washington to protect the President and his minions. I should get there in about three months as my tank goes about 4 miles an hour and uses 3 gallons of the new E-15 ethanol fuel per mile.

  • http://www.facebook.com/winona.wacker.1 Winona Wacker

    When ethanol was first introduced in the 1970s, it was common for people to have to replace the injection gadget in the engine because ethanol would eat it away! This is no different, just a ploy to take our cars away from us!

  • http://www.facebook.com/winona.wacker.1 Winona Wacker

    Or, start using carriages and horses like the Amish! I can remember when ranchers in my neighborhood in Arizona would come to town in wagons, or horseback–especially during the winter as we didn’t have the snow removal equipment to do the job.
    We had to use horses back in WWII sometimes, and we might have to again!
    But, Obama would then try his best to keep feed away from the horses, and if we had to rely on dogs, he would make sure those animals wound up in the meat market!
    The man has no scruples as to destroying the American people!

  • http://www.facebook.com/winona.wacker.1 Winona Wacker

    As does mine! I wouldn’t dare put anything in my little girl that would hurt her!

  • http://www.facebook.com/winona.wacker.1 Winona Wacker

    While that crap destroys all the moving parts in the tank, to boot!

  • http://www.facebook.com/winona.wacker.1 Winona Wacker

    Sorry, bub, but there is plenty of evidence! And, the automotive industry has been working on it since the 1970s.

  • regulus30

    ethanol produces excessive water;; corrodes carburetors on [2] and [4] cycle engines to the tune of [$600.00] annually for me and I do use the additive,

  • regulus30

    you do not put your food source into your gas tanks;; use sugar beets if you must continue the insanity;; which the pork barrel politicians will because it gets them the farm votes……..

  • Brabado

    …and also takes away needed food from the World hungry masses…
    Can someone tell the EPA to wake up, and smell the flowers!

    JESUS… IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON. LEAVE WITH IT!

  • Bloviating Zeppelin

    Goyo, then I highly recommend YOU put the highest percentile grade of Ethanol in YOUR vehicle, weekly. And I also recommend you NOT read your vehicle’s manual about types of acceptable fuel according to the manufacturer. And then take it to your dealer when the engine begins to malfunction. Only to discover that your claim won’t be covered. Because, after all, according to the Religious Left (of which you appear to be a member), you’ll “feel better” by doing your part to destroy your internal combustion engine.

    From that highly Right-wing Popular Mechanics magazine:

    “Gummed-up fuel systems, damaged tanks and phase separation caused by stray moisture infiltrating fuel systems have plagued many consumers since this mixture (E-15) debuted, and the problems will only get worse if government policy to increase the proportion of ethanol to gasoline is implemented.”

    Suggestion: try investigating the issue completely and thoroughly.

    BZ

  • Farmer Bill

    Ethanol is one of the best things that has happened agriculture in recent history. Everyone thinks that we are throwing away 40% of our corn crop. Most of the distillers grains comes back as feed. It is like someone giving you an orange, he keeps the peel and you get the slices back, (more nutritious and valuable). Brazil has been using E23 for years with the same vehicles as ours without any of the problems that the oil industry has been propagating. It is amazing what the power of big oil has in influencing opinions. By the way, they still are receiving their subsidy while Ethanol lost it’s at the beginning of this year. I don’t understand why people give big oil a free pass with the protection it needs in the middle East.

  • klystron525

    One point overlooked is the use of ethanol causes MORE gasoline to be used,
    not less. E-10 causes a 15% reduction in mileage, so a car that gets
    20 mpg on pure gasoline now gets 17 mpg on E-10. If you drive 2000
    miles, that consumes 100 gallons of pure gasoline. But driving 2000
    miles on E-10, at 17 mpg, consumes117.6 gallons, 11.7 of which is
    ethanol, leaving 106 gallons of gasoline consumed, and we won’t even
    mention the increased pollution. Only the diseased mind of a politician
    could conceive of such an atrocious plan to “reduce” consumption of
    oil, foreign or not. And as the previous post stated, we aren’t even
    calculating the massive consumption of fuel, water and fertilizer
    necessary to produce valuable food which is turned into inefficient
    fuel. This is a boondoggle which must be stopped at all costs.

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  • Mike

    You are absolutely right. We burn more fuel and this crap is not cleaner burning. 40% of U.S. corn production is now going towards production of alcohol, which is subsidized by the government. Due to this years drought, that 40% looms even bigger in that there was less corn produce. Wake up people. Alcohol production will remain the same, so that means less corn for human consumption and less corn for cattle feed. This equals to much higher feed prices to the cattle producers and your steak is going to cost more because of it. The cattleman asso. has tried to get the EPA to back off on alcohol production. They were told to go screw themselves. The EPA is just another out of control government agency that given themselves to much power. They have got to be reined in.

  • Mike

    This hasn’t got anything to do with big oil. Ask the sportsman what alcohol does to their outboard engines. Alcohol draws moisture and it is worse in the marine enviroment. This is nothing but a boondoggle to make the people think they are doing something “green”, which it turns out, is not trure.

  • Mike

    Telling the EPA anything is like telling Obama something. It goes no where and means nothing to them. They have given themselves greater and greater power over our lives and we all know our elected officials that represent us so well, will do nothing to rein in this out of control government agency.

  • Mike

    The EPA would want to stop the horses because they produce to much methane.

  • Mike

    They have been inviting a revolution for a long time, knowing the American people have become oblivious to what is going on around them, such pacifist that they will just complain, but do nothing.

  • JanZizka

    Even assuming the E15 were safe, there are plenty of mid to early ’90s and even older cars still quite functional and on the road. I prefer my ’97 4Runner because it gets comparable gas mileage to newer models (though I lose a couple MPG with E10 versus non-ethanol) yet because of its age isn’t full of useless computer crap. I can do most of the maintenance myself, many newer vehicles it is becoming more and more difficult for an independent mechanic or owner to work on them due to all the computerized junk mandated in them. Which also serves as another form of bailout for the automakers as it forces you to take it to the stealership’s ham-handed ‘technicians’.

  • smoky

    are ya beginning to understand why they’ve tried to take our guns for the last 45 years?? and more so now than ever.

  • smoky

    one plank of the communist manifest is to restrict, then prohibit private travel, using environmental excuses. communism all the way with this muslim communist in our white house.

  • Mad Mike

    I smell a “class-action law suit” against every gasoline station, oil companys and the E.P.A. for billions of dollars in damages. This law suit could and should be filed by the auto makers and the financial institutions that loan money or offer leases to the public. Government should not be “above the law”. That includes our totally out of control E.P.A.! We should be suing their butts raw over this insane government mandate! Impeach and/or recall every elected government official no-matter their party, no-matter their position, from the president to the federal dog catchers!

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  • Public_Citizen

    If you keep careful track of your gas mileage you already know that a gallon of E10 won’t take you as far as a gallon of 100% gasoline.
    Ignoring the damaging effects on engines and fuel systems you can expect an even more dramatic decrease in fuel economy with the higher percentage of ethanol blends.
    Let’s insist that the stations in D.C. and the surrounding upscale areas populated with high paid bureaucrats are the first to be required to use this fuel. If at the end of a 3 year test period there is no increase in engine damage / premature vehicle failure attributable to the use of the controversial fuel blend then roll it out to the rest of the country.

  • Public_Citizen

    Another quick thought.
    Leasing companies may start writing the lease contracts to hold the lessee liable for any fuel system damage if this goes through.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erik-Osbun/100001215333702 Erik Osbun

    Corn fed engines ROT.

  • wtram46

    The EPA, Obama and Congress are stoopid, stoopid, stoopid!!!! And so are the American people if they keep allowing it to be so!!! I would bet that THEIR cars are exempt from this crap!!! Oh for the good old days when gas was gas, and cars were cars!!!!

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