By Senator Ben Nelson
There they go again. Last week, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee approved along party lines a bill that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to commission a study of the ethanol blend E15 before allowing it to be used in vehicles. This will cause an unwise delay in use of this fuel that holds so much promise.
Wisconsin Republican Representative Jim Sensenbrenner’s measure would delay EPA’s final approval of the fuel blend by up to 19 months while the National Academy of Sciences carries out the study.
Sensenbrenner’s actions seem funny since I thought Groundhog Day had already come and gone but here we are seeing the same old thing again. Last year, another Republican Congressman attached an amendment to the House’s rejected H.R. 1 which blocked the continued implementation of E-15.
E15 as a Renewable Fuel
No fuel blend has been tested as thoroughly as E15. No fuel blend has undergone the level of scrutiny E15 has – and passed the tests like E15 did. They’ve been looking at E15 for more than three years.
E15 will reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 7 billion gallons annually.
E15 will create up to 136,000 American jobs that can’t be outsourced.
E15 will improve our environment – 59 percent less harmful emissions.
The House Should Stay Out
The House has inserted itself in another situation that did not need Congressional meddling, causing further delay in moving forward the development of this domestic renewable fuel.
The Green Jobs Waiver for E15 was accompanied with more independently-gathered data, science and research in its support than any of the other 11 Clean Air Act waivers previously approved by the U.S. EPA.
In October 2010, EPA approved a waiver allowing 15 percent ethanol in gasoline for passenger vehicles from model years 2007 and later. The agency approved E15 for use in models from 2001 to 2006 in January of last year and released a gasoline-station label for the blend in June.
EPA has yet to complete final registration of the fuel under the Clean Air Act.
Choose Science Not Politics This amendment chooses politics over science. E15 is the most tested fuel in history and holds a lot of promise for America’s future as a renewable fuel source that will help us in our battle for energy independence. We should get on with it and stop the political game playing.