October 31, 2010

Perspective On The Proposed E15 Label

The EPA has proposed the following label be applied to pumps dispensing E15. Their goal is to reduce the potential for the misfueling of E15 into vehicles and engines for which it is not approved.

Some in the ethanol industry have expressed concern that the label would scare consumers from using E15.

I have to admit that when I first saw the label I thought it wasn't too bad. I understand the EPA's desire to prevent consumers from dispensing E15 in an unapproved vehicle.

But this situation isn't that much different from what diesel went through a few years back. The EPA issued new regulations for diesel fuel lowering the amount of sulfur in highway diesel from 500 parts per million in Low Sulfur Diesel to 15 parts per million in Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel. All 2007 model year and newer diesel vehicles are designed to run on Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel. Using Low Sulfur Diesel in a 2007 and newer diesel vehicle could cause harm to the emissions equipment.

So we had two different diesel fuels on the market at the same time, fuel restrictions based on vehicle model year, and the potential for damage if misfueling had occurred. You would expect the label for Low Sulfur Diesel to express a similar urgency as the label being proposed for E15. But it didn't. Here is the pump label for Low Sulfur Diesel.

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