During a meeting with governors and leaders of Congress, the president announced the proposed changes to the nation’s automobile fuel supply.
“We’re working on the ethanol. It’s really working out. People have been talking about this for years. We’re going to raise it up to 15% .. makes a lot of people happy,” the president said. “We’re going to go to 12 months which makes a lot of farmers very happy.”
The change would increase the minimum required amount of corn-based ethanol from 10% to 15%, known as E15, and make the change required year-round instead of just 8 months each year.
While most cars made after 2001 can handle the higher blend of ethanol, older cars, lawn equipment and recreational vehicles may not fair as well if the mix exceeds 10%.
Organizations such as the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) contend that adequate measures are not in place to prevent misfueling and point out that there is the continued need for fuel with 10% or less ethanol, since small non-road engines are not designed or warranted for fuel above E10.
“In fact, DOE testing showed that seven out of the 11 engines tested behaved ‘poorly’ or ‘erratically’ with the fuel,” says Brad Murphy, Subaru Industrial Power Products.. “The EPA acknowledges these results, despite the fact that its overall position is increasing ethanol content in gasoline is desirable.”
“We know that increased alcohol levels in the fuel cause damage to a small, air-cooled engine’s carburetor,” he continues. “Because alcohol has corrosive properties, you can get a breakdown of the zinc plating inside a carburetor, where the fuel sits, even if you have a corrosion-resistant carburetor.”