September 21, 2010

Calls For More E15 Research Have Little To Do With Science

Recently 39 environmental, food, motor vehicle, energy, power equipment and recreational industry groups joined together to call on congress to do more testing on E15 before the EPA makes a decision on whether to raise the maximum allowable limit of ethanol in gasoline to 15%.

There were several livestock producer groups involved including the American Meat Institute, National Chicken Council, National Meat Association, and National Turkey Federation.

The 39 groups frequently oppose each other on a broad range of policy issues, but have launched a joint campaign calling on Congress to require thorough and objective scientific testing before allowing an increase in the amount of ethanol in gasoline.

Ethanol burns hotter than gasoline and corrodes soft metals, plastics and rubber. The groups believe more testing is needed to determine how much ethanol is too much for different types of existing engines to use safely without risking engine damage and failure that could leave vehicles stranded and endanger motorists and users of gasoline-powered equipment. - Source

So if you believe the press release, this is all about protecting the engines of cars and equipment. But not according to an article on the Pork Magazine website today.

This would be a victory for ethanol companies and a blow to the poultry and livestock producers who have lobbied for EPA to do more research before allowing the increase. They fear that approval of a 15 percent ethanol blend rate will add further upward pressure to corn prices which are already trading at two-year highs.

At least for meat producers, the call for more research isn't about science or protecting consumers. It is an attempt to limit their competition for corn.

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