January 04, 2011

Ethanol Groups Propose Alternative E15 Labels

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy have each proposed an alternative to the E15 label the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed.

This is the label proposed by the EPA. Many, including myself, feel that the label is overly aggressive in it's warning. Just after the EPA proposed this label, I compared this label to a similar situation in the diesel market.

This is the label proposed by the Renewable Fuels Association.

This is the label proposed by Growth Energy.

Both of the labels proposed by the ethanol groups are in my opinion preferable to the label proposed by the EPA. But to be honest, both of the proposed ethanol groups labels may not be aggressive enough in their warning. As I mentioned before, the diesel fuel market went through a similar situation just a couple of years ago.

This is the label that the EPA approved in that situation. The warning level conveyed is somewhere in the middle of that which is conveyed by the E15 label proposed by the EPA and the two labels proposed by the ethanol groups. This is more in line with what I would expect the approved label to look like. There is a need to adequately warn people so that misfueling doesn't occur but ethanol shouldn't be subjected to a higher level of warning because it isn't a product of the petroleum industry.


Robert White said...

Please keep in mind that the label you are sharing for ULSD was for a mandated product, E15 is not and will not be in the future.

Michael A. Gregory said...

I understand what you are saying Robert. But here is my thinking on this. No matter what the EPA does the oil companies are going to file a lawsuit over it. The EPA has made comments in the past that they know that is coming and that a lot of their actions are geared towards being able to defend themselves in those expected lawsuits. I think that is why the label that they proposed is so aggressive in the first place. I think the only way that the EPA is going to be able to defend themselves in court is if they treat ethanol the same as they have petroleum products in similar situations. And the situation is similar to what happened in the diesel market a few years ago in that you had the use of Low Sulfur Diesel restricted to certain model years and the fact that both Low Sulfur Diesel and Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel were both on the market at the same time.

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