A coalition of livestock producer organizations, including the National Pork Producers Council, expressed support for an amendment to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from using taxpayer monies to increase the allowable level of ethanol in gasoline to 15 percent (E15) from its current 10 percent.
The plea was made in a letter sent last week to House Speaker John Boehner, (R-Ohio), and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (R-Calif.). The groups back the amendment to the fiscal 2012 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.
The organizations pointed out that the Government Accountability Office last month issued a report that listed several challenges to the retail sale of intermediate ethanol blends such as E15. The compatibility of E15 with current underground infrastructure, the cost of developing and implementing new storage and dispensing equipment and the liability associated with consumers misfueling vehicles and engines built before 2001 were cited as potential problems.
While U.S. livestock groups support U.S. energy independence and the development of renewable and biofuels fuels, said the letter, more than 30 years of support has created a mature corn-ethanol industry that now needs to compete fairly in the marketplace and allow for the next generation of renewable and biofuels fuels to grow.
NPPC is part of a lawsuit against EPA for its decision to increase the ethanol blend rate in gasoline to 15 percent for 2001 and later model year cars and light trucks on the grounds that granting a ”partial waiver” of the Clean Air Act is not within the agency’s legal authority.