California Air Resources Board says E15 ethanol-gas blend won't appear in California for 'years'
November 09, 2012
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The
California Air Resources Board has told the American Motorcyclist Association
that even if it approves the sale of the new E15 ethanol-gasoline blend in
California, the blend wouldn't appear in the market for several years.
CARB made the comment in response to a letter from AMA Vice President for
Government Relations Wayne Allard, who expressed concern about potential
misfueling of E15 into motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. E15 is a gasoline
formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol, and the federal
Environmental Protection Agency hasn't approved its use in motorcycles or ATVs.
To avoid misfueling, the EPA is requiring warning labels on gas pumps and
requiring all consumers buy at least four gallons of gas when they buy from
blender pumps. A blender pump dispenses different fuel blends through the same
Michael Waugh, chief of the CARB transportation fuels branch, responded to
Allard's letter on behalf of CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols. In his Nov. 6
letter, Waugh said: "Please be advised that E15 is not approved for sale
in California, and if ARB chooses to allow E15 as a transportation fuel, it
would take several years to complete the vehicle testing and rule development
necessary to introduce a new transportation fuel into California's market.
"Meanwhile, U.S. EPA has committed to 'closely follow the results of their
E15 Compliance Survey to determine whether additional misfueling mitigation
measures are necessary.' We will follow U.S. EPA's continued assessment of E15
misfueling and will keep in mind these concerns should we move forward with
allowing E15 in California," Waugh wrote.
The California Air Resources Board is a part of the California Environmental
Protection Agency. Its mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare
and ecological resources through the effective and efficient reduction of air
pollutants while recognizing and considering the effects on the economy of the
The AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal
lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycle and ATV engines caused by the
inadvertent use of E15 when the new fuel becomes widely available, and has
asked that motorcycles and ATVs be part of any scientific study into the
effects of E15 on engines.
Ethanol is essentially grain alcohol produced from crops that is mixed with
gasoline to produce an ethanol-gasoline blend motor fuel. In October 2010, the
EPA approved the use of E15 in model year 2007 and newer light-duty vehicles
(cars, light-duty trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles). Then, in January
2011, the EPA added model year 2001-06 light-duty vehicles to the approved