US Senator John Thune (R-SD) is urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin preparations for an expeditious review of an application to approve the use of E20 (20% ethanol and 80% gasoline) in automobiles. Senator Thune currently serves as the ranking member of the Energy Subcommittee of the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Minnesota is preparing a waiver request for the EPA asking for approval to use E20. Thune wants the decks cleared for a timely review.
Given the importance of this impending request, and the required analysis involved to ensure that E20 does not impair the emissions control systems of vehicles, I urge the EPA to begin preparations now by reviewing any and all issues associated with such a waiver application. In the event you become aware of any legislative hurdles that may need to be addressed in this process, I ask that you inform my office as soon as possible.—Letter from Senator Thune to EPA Administrator
Presently, roughly half of all gasoline sold in the United States includes 10% ethanol. Thune is concerned that the ethanol industry will hit an “E10 Wall” in the next two to three years if gasoline with a higher ration of ethanol is not approved.
...the actualization of E85-capable vehicle production and E85 availability is not expected to keep pace with the rapid expansion of domestic ethanol production. According to the Congressional Research Service, approximately 99% of domestically consumed ethanol is E10 or blends of gasoline with up to 10% ethanol—while only one percent is consumed as E85.
Moving forward in certifying the use of E20 also paves the way for the future production and use of cellulosic ethanol to flow seamlessly into the marketplace, the Senator argues.