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NPRA Opposes Growth Energy Ethanol Petition
July 21, 2009

NPRA, the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, on Monday submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency on Growth Energy's March 6, 2009 petition to the Agency to increase the allowable ethanol content of gasoline to 15 percent (E15).

"NPRA supports the prudent development and use of biofuels, including ethanol, to diversify our nation's transportation and nonroad fuels portfolio," the Association states in its comments. "However, before the use of mid-level ethanol blends is permitted, EPA has an affirmative obligation to find, based on comprehensive and unbiased test data, that these blends are safe for consumers, do not harm gasoline-powered engines, and do not lead to increases in emissions from these engines that will harm the environment. The data submitted by Growth Energy in its petition does not come close to meeting these admittedly and necessarily high standards, and thus the petition must be rejected."

NPRA expresses, among others, the following concerns regarding the petition:

  • The science regarding the impact of mid-level ethanol blends on consumer safety, engine performance, and potential environmental harm has not been completed, and likely will not be completed for at least two years.
  • The information submitted by Growth Energy to EPA in support of the petition is a woefully inadequate foundation upon which to base such an important change in the nation's supply of gasoline.
  • The potential approval of Growth Energy's petition is not an effective short- or medium-term solution to avoiding the "blendwall" problem caused by the increasing conventional biofuels volumes mandated under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
  • If granted, the petition would have wide-ranging implications on other federal and state fuels programs and will require a series of complex and lengthy rulemakings to harmonize these programs with the introduction of mid-level ethanol blends.

NPRA members include more than 450 companies, including virtually all U.S. refiners and petrochemical manufacturers.

Source: National Petrochemical & Refiners Association

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