The U.S. federal government is not known for making brilliant decisions. Federally mandated healthcare, limiting domestic oil exploration, and the list goes on. But the EPA’s decision to allow the sale of E15 gasoline, vaults governmental stupidity to new heights.
E15 is a blend of 85% gasoline, and 15% ethanol. For the uninitiated, it’s basically gas, mixed with a corn-based biofuel, which is not much different than good ole’ moonshine. However, reducing the amount of gasoline…in your gasoline…will wreak havoc on a ‘pre-2001’ engine’s fuel system. Causing engine damage, and increased fuel consumption. For this reason, the wizards at the EPA have commanded that a 3×3 inch sticker be placed on E15 pumps, warning customers that their pre-2001 vehicle, chain saw, lawn mower, golf cart, ATV, generator, weed whacker, boat, snowmobile, or motorcycle, may suffer damage from the fuel. It’s only recommended for newer vehicles, which are able to burn ethanol.
But if you’ve ever tried a tank of ethanol in your ‘flex-fuel’ capable vehicle, you’ve no doubt noticed the abysmal gas mileage. Add to that, ethanol’s tendency to evaporate, and you’re going to be getting a lot less ‘going power’ for your hard earned dollar.
Aside from the 3-inch sticker, there’s no other federally mandated E15 labeling, or signage planned under their current ‘Misfueling Mitigation’ plan. Needless to say, there’s going to be a lot of damaged chain saws, and Crown Vic’s in the near future. However, the Engine Products Group, a consortium of engine manufacturer associations, has filed suit with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, requesting the EPA’s E15 waiver be repealed. The court’s decision is expected at any time, but the EPA will most likely win.
It’s a sad day when our government decides that an inferior product is in our best interest.
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