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DC Insider: House panel passes E15 bill


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On April 11, the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), held a session to make changes to H.R. 875, which is a bill that would repeal the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s waiver decision related to E15 fuel (gasoline containing up to 15 percent ethanol), and the authority of the agency to grant further decisions in the matter, until the EPA seeks an independent scientific analysis of the effects of E15.

During the session, called a markup, the committee adopted several technical amendments offered by Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.). The bill, introduced by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), then passed by a vote of 18-17. See how the committee members voted.

“Time and again, we see instances where American businesses are unnecessarily harmed by the EPA’s regulatory and political agenda,” said Smith. “Mr. Sensenbrenner’s E15 bill is backed by both the American Petroleum Institute and the Environmental Working Group, two organizations that do not agree often. It is also supported by the American Automobile Association (AAA), as well as groups representing everyone from snowmobilers to boaters to motorcyclists.”

In fact, this bill is supported by a broad spectrum of 35 organizations. The organizations, which include the American Motorcyclist Association, sent a letter of support to Sensenbrenner.

“After examining the basis for the EPA to grant its waiver decisions in 2010 and 2011 to allow the introduction of E15 fuel, it is clear to me that this decision was wrong, rushed and based on incomplete science,” said Sensenbrenner.  “Numerous tests and warnings highlight the harmful effects of E15 fuel blends on engines and their components, but they have all been dismissed by the EPA.  Therefore, we must force the EPA to stop the use of E15 fuel as we cannot responsibly allow the approval of mid-level ethanol blends until the serious safety, fuel efficiency, engine damage and environmental concerns are addressed.”

To view an archive webcast of the markup, go to http://science.house.gov/markup/full-committee-markup-hr.

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