The government cleared the use of ethanol-rich gasoline in late-model cars and trucks.
The Environmental Protection Agency approved the sale of so-called E15 fuel – comprising 85% gasoline and 15% ethanol, which is made in this country largely from corn – for use in cars and trucks made since the 2007 model year.
The EPA said the decision clears the first step toward full-scale commercialization of E15 blends. Until now, ethanol content in gasoline was limited to 10%.
The EPA said it made the decision after deciding the more ethanol-rich blend doesn't hurt emissions control equipment in recent automobiles.
"Wherever sound science and the law support steps to allow more home-grown fuels in America's vehicles, this administration takes those steps," EPA administrator Lisa Jackson said.
The ethanol industry has been pushing for higher ethanol content in fuel and for the new rules to apply to more vehicles. The EPA said it expects to complete a study next month that will determine whether the E15 fuel can be used in cars made between 2001 and 2006.
But the EPA says older cars won't be able to use the ethanol-rich blend.
"No waiver is being granted this year for E15 use in model year 2000 and older cars and light trucks – or in any motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, or non-road engines – because currently there is not testing data to support such a waiver," the EPA said. More
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