Growth Energy Responds to New York Times articles on the Green Jobs Waiver

Washington – Today The New York Times published articles regarding Growth Energy’s Green Jobs waiver, a request to the Environmental Protection Agency that would create over 130,000 green-collar jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, simply by increasing the blend of ethanol in our gas supply by up to five percent. It should come as no surprise to readers of The New York Times that one of the loudest opponents of increasing the blend of more clean, homegrown renewable ethanol in our gas supply is the Big Oil industry. Oil executives don’t want ethanol competing with gasoline and taking up more of its market share.

Moving to E15 is Supported by Sound Science
The facts support Growth Energy’s case. There has been more testing of E15 than there has been of any other fuel additive in the history of the EPA waiver process including the 11 waivers that were approved. Multiple comprehensive studies involving over 100 vehicles, 85 vehicle and engine types, and 33 fuel dispensing units have been completed to evaluate the effects of ethanol-gasoline blends above 10 percent ethanol, from E15 to E85. These studies include a year-long drivability test and over 5,500 hours of materials compatibility testing. These tests have been completed by highly reputable sources, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Minnesota State University, and the Rochester Institute of Technology just to name a few. All of these studies have confirmed that using E15 in today’s automobile fleet has no adverse impact on a car’s performance, maintenance, or emissions.

Claims That E15 will Ruin Small Engines are False
The New York Times also notes opposition from small engine manufacturers, but neglects to mention that Growth Energy supports multiple blends of gas and ethanol, and believes in fuel choice for small engine users. The article points to the report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that shows small engines malfunctioning when E15 was used in those engines. What the article leaves out is that small non-road engines performed no worse on E15 than they did on E0. According to the DOE’s study on the impact of higher ethanol blends on small engines:
• “The residential Class I as well as the commercial engines exhibited no sensitivity to ethanol from a durability perspective in the short duration of this project. The effect of ethanol on the durability of the residential Class IV engines was not clear given that a number of these engines failed during full-life aging regardless of fuel type.”
• “The purpose of ‘down-selecting’ engines from a larger group was to help ensure that the engines tested were fairly consistent with each other to elucidate fuel effects that might otherwise be obscured by engine-to-engine scatter. As discussed below and illustrated by the data, the engine tests confirmed that emission and temperature can vary considerably from engine-to-engine, even among engines with the same model number, and even on E0.”

Growth Energy Believes in Fuel Choice for Americans
Growth Energy believes we can introduce E15 blends into the marketplace for use in a variety of engines. We support consumers who want access to different blends of gas and ethanol – from zero ethanol up to 15 percent, and believe in ensuring fuel choice for small engine users. Growth Energy is not asking for a mandate on E15, rather we’re asking the EPA to remove the arbitrary limit that is currently placed on ethanol.

E15 Has No Effect on Drivability
The New York Times articles note that the same Oak Ridge study wasn’t aimed at drivability issues, however its observation that “no drivability issues associated with ethanol fueling were noted for the duration of testing” reinforces the findings of other studies that look extensively at drivability issues, including studies by the state of Minnesota and Minnesota State University.

Underwriter’s Laboratory Certifies Blends up to 15 Percent Ethanol
Finally, an article on pump certification notes that the Underwriter’s Laboratory certifies blends of ethanol in its pumps up to 15 percent ethanol. Growth Energy’s waiver defines E15 as a gasoline blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline – and not any variation of that. In the waiver submission, we say that Underwriter’s Laboratory supports a “maximum of 15 percent.” Refiners need to take responsibility for ensuring they’re selling a product that is what the law dictates.


About Growth Energy

Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth Energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at