WASHINGTON, DC — A newly-released Rochester Institute of Technology study shows that E20 – a blend of 20-percent ethanol with gasoline – has no measurable impact on vehicle drivability or durability, and lower tailpipe emissions compared to conventional gasoline. Growth Energy, the coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters, said today that this study proves the value of moving to higher blends of ethanol in the country’s fuel supply.

The study was conducted by RIT’s Center of Integrated Manufacturing Studies. Using a 10-vehicle fleet owned and operated by Monroe County, N.Y., researchers fueled the vehicles – all with older gasoline engines not specifically designed to burn ethanol blends – over the accumulation of at least 100,000 miles per vehicle. Researchers found that the fleet showed an average reduction of 23 percent for carbon monoxide and a 13 percent reduction for hydrocarbon emissions, with no measurable stress on vehicle operation or mechanics.

Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said the RIT study also supports the logic behind Growth Energy’s “Green Jobs Waiver,” which seeks an increase in the allowable blend of ethanol with gasoline from 10 percent to 15 percent. In December, the Environmental Protection Agency indicated that engine testing so far showed that 2001-and later vehicles could be eligible for E15. The agency said in its letter to Growth Energy that if the testing continued to hold that finding, the agency was prepared to approve the E15 Green Jobs Waiver by mid-year. A national study by the Windmill Group, out of North Dakota, estimated that moving to E15 would create 136,000 jobs in the United States.

“This new study confirms what we've been saying all along. Increasing the use of ethanol in our fuel can help clean our environment, strengthen our national security and create jobs, all without any impact on the drivability of our cars,” Buis said.

“This study also illustrates the potential benefits of higher blends of ethanol as a means to kicking our addiction to foreign oil. With the current 10 percent ethanol blend in our fuel today, the U.S. has reduced our dependence on foreign oil by billions of gallons each year. If the EPA approves Growth Energy’s Green Jobs Waiver to increase the blend level to E15, we will be able to avoid the importation of another seven billion gallons of gasoline.”

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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 GrowthEnergy.org.

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