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Putting the Brakes on 15% Ethanol: Problems with Ethanol Blends

Posted by: Bell Performance

ethanol_mandateThose loud collective sighs and groans you heard coming from Washington was the sound of two opposing forces – the Petroleum Refiners Association and the Renewable Fuels Association (interpretation: the biofuels and ethanol and biodiesel lobbies) – reacting to the July decision by the EPA to delay mandating a boost in the level of ethanol in gasoline from 10 to 15%.

As expected, petroleum refiners were pleased, touting it as an “excellent decision.” On the other side, the ethanol lobby were understandably displeased, accusing the EPA of “dropping the ball.”  These reactions shouldn’t surprise anyone, as both sides have a lot at stake in the issue. The requirement to add something additional to their product makes life more difficult for the petroleum industry already reeling from tight margins, dwindling supplies and tighter regulations. And one doesn’t need to go very far to dig up why the ethanol industry is so interested in these kinds of gasoline regulations.

Consumers stuck in the middle may not even have been aware that this change was under consideration.  Many consumers are just now getting used to dealing the ever-present fuel pump signs – “May contain up to 10% ethanol”. Certainly these same consumers are not yet used to the mileage-loss, water and component damage problems that ethanol has brought to the transportation and boating industries, as well as to Sunday drivers and commuters.   These issues will undoubtedly be made worse by an increase in ethanol level to 15%, but at least drivers have a reprieve of a few months longer.

Hear a few of Bell Performance customers talk about their experience with Mix-I-Go and how it has helped with their ethanol related engine problems.

Ethanol Problems Facing Consumers

This post was published on October 1, 2010 and was updated on April 9, 2019.

Topics: Cars and Light Trucks, Ethanol, Fuel Policy