You may have heard recently that the Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) finalized a new rule allowing gas stations to sell “E15” gasoline year-round. Our team at DuraFlap Drill-Less Mudflaps thought you might be interested in learning how this impacts you.
What is E15 and what was the original rule about selling it?
E15 is simply a blended fuel with 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. Up until this new ruling was adopted, the EPA allowed E10 (10% ethanol and 90% gasoline) to be sold year-round while E15 could only be sold during winter months.
The EPA originally restricted the use of blended fuel to the E10 level year-round because of its impact on air quality. A higher level of ethanol creates more carbon dioxide emissions. However, having more ethanol in the blend also helps engines start more easily; so the EPA had allowed the E15 blend to be sold during colder months.
Why did they change?
Congress encouraged the EPA to make the change to allow E15 blends to be sold year-round for many reasons.
- It can be very expensive or cost-prohibitive for gas stations to change out their tanks to a different fuel for only a few months of the year.
- The United States would like to decrease their dependency on fossil fuel, so using more renewable fuel like ethanol helps us meet that goal.
- Farmers in the agricultural parts of our country will benefit as the demand for the materials to make ethanol increase. Ethanol is made from farm stocks; for example, corn.
- New studies have shown that the impact on air quality is less than originally thought.
What does this mean for you?
While E10 fuel can be used in any vehicle manufactured after 1986, E15 is only recommended for vehicles manufactured in 2001 or later. If you have a truck or RV that is older than 2001, you should talk with your vehicle’s manufacturer before using E15 fuel.
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