“Urgent Regulatory Alert. Take Action Now” the SEMA Auction Network urges in the aftermath of a federal Environmental Protection Agency proposal last week to allow the sale of E15 fuel during the summer driving season.
“If finalized, the EPA would overturn its long-standing prohibition on the sale of E15 during high-ozone season by allowing the fuel to use the 1 pound per square inch Reid Vapor Pressure waver, which currently allows E10 sales during the summer months,” the SEMA bulletin says.
“The EPA’s effort to allow year-round E15 sales would expand the number of gas stations selling gasoline blended with higher amount of ethanol,” the bulletin adds.
Under the banner of “Fight Unfair Automotive Laws,” SEMA has set up a special website with guidelines and links for contacting the EPA, and for doing so by April 22, the deadline for public comments on the proposed change in regulations.
Also responding to the proposed change is Hagerty, with an article on its website: “E15 ethanol is coming, like it or not. Here’s what you need to know.”
“Owners of collector cars, or any vehicle built before 2001, beware: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing a rule approving the sale of E15 gasoline year-round, so use extra care when gassing up this summer,” the Hagerty article reported.
“In the United States, ninety-eight percent of gasoline sold already contains some amount of ethanol,” it continued. “Cars produced in the past two decades or so generally have no problem burning the common E10 blend, which contains 10 percent ethanol. Some stations have offered E15, which bumps the amount of ethanol to 15 percent, since 2005, but the EPA had previously banned its sale during the summer amid concerns that it contributed to the creation of smog.
“The change won’t happen overnight, and you’ll still be able to get E10. Still, motorists will want to be mindful when filling up. Not all cars can handle the higher concentration of ethanol, which can gum up fuel systems and cause corrosion in cars that haven’t been designed to burn it.”
And it’s not only owners of collector cars who need to be concerned, Hagerty added. While many automakers are producing cars with fuel systems prepared for E15, Hagerty notes that Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Mazda and Volvo have not, with the exception of the new FlexFuel vehicles Mercedes is offering for the 2019 model year.
Hagerty also notes that ethanol can damage not only metal but plastic components in a vehicle’s fuel system, encouraging corrosion and gumming up filters and carburetors, even dissolving rust in a fuel tank and allowing it to enter the fuel system.
Fuel pumps should have stickers identifying the amount of ethanol blended into the gasoline.
Ethanol is a form of alcohol, usually made from corn, that can be used in internal combustion engines, for example, Indy racing cars, which run on a fuel blend with 85 percent ethanol.