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4 U.S. Senators from big Ethanol-producing states are pressuring the EPA to mandate a 15% blend of Ethanol in gasoline.  This, in spite of the fact that the EPA has tested a TOTAL of 18 vehicles with this new blend, and they say it is safe for automobile engines made after 2001. No mention of any or planned testing of motorcycless.

Here is the full press release from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation:

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | http://www.mrf.org

10NR17 - MRF News Release - Washington Update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 June 2010

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Government Relations and Public Affairs


Washington Update

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has learned that a letter has been sent by 4 US Senators to President Obama criticizing the recent announcement by the EPA to delay the mandate that would force gasoline manufactures to move from 10% ethanol/gasoline blends to 15% ethanol in its blends. The new blend is commonly referred to as e-15. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) and Kit Bond (R-Mo.) all signed a letter delivered to Obama yesterday, June 23rd. The senators, all from states that have a large economic interest in ethanol, stated that the gulf oil spill underlines the need for less reliance on fossil fuels and a greater need for more ethanol use.

The EPA decided to push a deadline on issuing a rulemaking that would mandate the use of 15% blends across the country. The new time frame is early fall for release of the ruling. The EPA states that the new blend will be safe in auto engines manufactured after 2001, after testing just 18 vehicles. It is not clear if any of those vehicles were a motorcycle. The agency went on to state that it is also not clear if the new blend would damage vehicles earlier than 2001.

Ethanol causes an engine to run hotter and get less gas mileage, but it does reduce carbon monoxide emissions making it the darling of environmentalist groups. However, air cooled engines are likely to run so hot with the new blend that engine damage is almost going to be unavoidable.

The lawmakers called that first delay "unnecessary and unfortunate" in their letter but said they are more concerned about news late last week that EPA will not make a decision until later this fall.

This second delay should "not be tolerated," the lawmakers said. The letter asks Obama to "take all action necessary" to expedite the waiver petition and immediately consider an interim blend of 12 percent ethanol.

The same problems arise with a 12% blend as with a 15% blend. No one knows what the compromise blend will do to motorcycles, air cooled engines, or other vehicles pre 2001.

Should you hail from one of the States that the four Senators are from, the MRF encourages you to contact them and ask for proof that the new blend will not harm the engines in question. All others are encouraged to contact the White House on this important matter. "Its crucial that the American people press for more testing on this issue as Obama cabinet members have gone on record saying they ‘are confident’ this new measure will be approved" said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

White House Contact info
On the web: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact
On the phone: Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461

Original article on the MRF website is here:

http://www.mrf.org/2010/news_release/10NR17.htm

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