In the last week, Twitter was buzzing with news about the nominee for EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, testifying before Congress about the E15 approval issue. Well, not exactly personal testimony, but a written response to specific questions sent to her office by Senators who want answers on the E15 issue that's becoming more and more of a black mark on the EPA's reputation.
The Senators wanted to know how much the EPA was aware of problems that were implied by the results of testing that the CRC (Coordinating Research Council) did on E15 that seemed to indicate that E15 was likely to cause problems in a number of types of vehicles and equipment. Some of the answers she gave in the written statement are being hotly contested. We've paraphrased the answers below.
"The EPA was 'expressely denied' a role in the official testing of E15 by the CRC"
This one seems to be obviously false, because both the EPA and the Department of Energy (DOE) were key participants in meetings between 2008 and 2010 on the subject. These meetings were all about hashing out test procedures and research plans. Not only that, but DOE staff members actively participated in CRC groups doing the research and also helped write the final reports.
"The CRC's E15 testing had scientific shortcomings and problems"
This is a curious statement to make because the CRC test procedures have been considered the standard in the industry for seven decades. They are the same tests that the automakers use when they are designing and building their vehicles.
"The CRC didn't give us complete information"
This claim seems to be debunked by the trails of emails from the CRC to the EPA and the Department of Energy; emails that informed both groups about the availability of the research reports for download.
So it seems the EPA is trying to wash its hands of responsibility for E15 problems in the marketplace, while drivers and consumers get more and more angry about the situation.
Image Credit: Huffington Post
This post was published on July 9, 2013 and was updated on November 19, 2013.