Comments on E15 a few months back by the nation's leading auto-group AAA have been tweeted and re-tweeted and referenced many times by both sides of the ethanol debate. Ethanol supporters have taken to either criticizing AAA for their stance (they called for a nationwide freeze on selling E15 until more definitive testing can be done) or re-wording AAA's statements to make it look like AAA wasn't really saying what people thought they were.
Examples from twitter:
@AAAnews again attacks E15, an approved fuel, but remains silent on 85 octane, not approved for a single vehicle.
Anti-ethanol people latched on to the story and spread it around like wildfire, as evidence that ethanol really is bad on all fronts - "just ask AAA".
More examples from Twitter:
AAA says new E15 fuel could damage engines and void warranties. Are you worried?
AAA itself has been relatively quiet since then. They are, as we said, the nation's leading automotive group, and gasoline isn't the only thing they have time to spend talking about. But rather than have other people tell their story, AAA has decided to do some more clarifying on exactly what they're trying to say regarding E15 ethanol gasoline. On December 16, AAA issued a press release authored by Michael Green, their Public Relations manager. The release, titled "The Real Facts on AAA and Ethanol" made the folliowing points:
- AAA has long supported using alternative fuels like ethanol, but is concerned with the way the industry has introduced and marketed E15 to consumers.
- Most drivers are unaware of the potentially-negative effects of E15 and have not been properly educated.
- More than 90% of the vehicles on the road today are not manufacturer-approved for E15 use, including nearly all 2001-2013 models.
- Ethanol producers want to legislate a nationwide increase in ethanol from E10 to E15 in order to meet the legal requirement set by the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). AAA supports changing the law itself to lower the RFS requirement, eliminating the need to mandate any increase from E10 to E15.
Sounds like AAA is saying the same thing it was before, except with the addition of its comments on the "blend wall" and the Renewable Fuels Standard, which is an issue of discussion that has cropped up in the time since AAA first made its public comments.
For the full text of AAA's latest E15 comments, click here.
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This post was published on January 30, 2014 and was updated on January 30, 2014.