SEMA is supporting legislation (S. 344) introduced in the U.S. Senate to ban the sale of gasoline containing 15% ethanol. The bill would overturn actions taken by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) two years ago to permit ethanol levels to rise from 10% (E10) to 15% (E15). The agency is only requiring a gas pump warning label to alert motorists that E15 could potentially cause equipment failure for vehicles older than model-year 2001.
“This legislation is necessary to protect auto enthusiasts by preventing damage to older vehicles and high-performance specialty components,” said SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. “SEMA applauds Senators Roger Wicker (R-MS) and David Vitter (R-LA) for their efforts to correct by statute a flawed decision by the EPA. Unless enacted into law, E15 may soon appear at a gas station near you.”
Ethanol increases water formation that can then create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber. Older cars and certain high-performance specialty parts are not constructed with corrosion-resistant materials or able to tolerate the higher temperatures at which E15 may burn. Auto enthusiasts have complained for years about damage caused by E10, which is now in more than 90% of gas sold in the United States E15 would increase that risk by 50%. For classic cars that are infrequently driven, corrosion could eventually damage the engine, fuel line, fuel tank and exhaust systems.
SEMA represents thousands of companies that market products for these vehicles and, through its SEMA Action Network (SAN), millions of enthusiasts who buy and operate these automobiles.