Sen. Johanns: partial EPA E15 ethanol waiver too little, too late

By Jon H. Harsch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

Washington, Oct. 13 - Even before the U.S. EPA announced its expected decision Wednesday to permit a 15% ethanol blend (E15) for newer vehicles, Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) questioned EPA's “commitment to renewable fuels.” For 2007 and newer cars, E15 is replacing the current E10 limit which has applied to all vehicles except for flex-fuel vehicles.

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“This Administration's continued failure to stand up for domestic, renewable fuels and American farmers is exasperating,” Johanns said. “Raising the blend wall to E15 is essential to meeting the Renewable Fuel Standard. EPA's partial approval and continued foot-dragging does not inspire confidence. A muddled transition to E15 keeps a cap on ethanol demand and will likely lead to confusion at the pump. Approving part of the market, denying another part and leaving the rest in limbo is not effective leadership.”

According to EPA, a final decision on an E15 waiver for 2001-2006 models is expected by the end of the year, covering approximately 40 percent of vehicles in the U.S. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, allowing up to E15 blends in all vehicles would increase ethanol production by 6.5 billion gallons annually, displacing more than 200 million barrels of imported oil.

For Stewart Doan's audio on EPA's E15 split decision, go to:

For reactions from Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association, to go:

For reactions from the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Farm Bureau and Sen. Kent Conrad, go to:

For reactions from USDA Sec. Vilsack, Sen. Tom Harkin, Sen. Mike Johanns, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, and the National Pork Producers Council, go to: and to

To read about EPA's announcement which removes limits on selling E15 ethanol for model 2007 vehicles and newer, go to:

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