For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Kelly Trout, 202-222-0722,
Kate McMahon, 978-758-9584,

EPA Approves High Ethanol Fuel for More Vehicles

Decision to expand consumption of dirty corn ethanol called dangerous for consumers, the environment

WASHINGTON - Friends of the Earth joined a diverse coalition of business,
environmental, budget watchdog and public interest groups in condemning
today’s decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to
approve the use of gasoline blends containing 15 percent ethanol,
referred to as “E15,” in cars, SUVs, and light trucks from model years
2001 and newer.

Today’s decision expands on an EPA ruling in October 2010 that raised
the maximum blend of ethanol in gasoline to 15 percent, but limited the
use of this higher ethanol blend to cars and light trucks from model
years 2007 and newer.

Kate McMahon, biofuels campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth,
called the EPA’s decision “a New Year’s gift to corporate ethanol
interests that is bad for consumers and bad for the environment.”

“Ethanol is a highly polluting fuel that the EPA has no business
promoting,” McMahon continued. “The EPA’s own scientific analysis shows
that corn ethanol results in more climate-damaging emissions than
gasoline. In addition to contributing to dangerous climate changes, the
production of corn ethanol takes land away from food production,
encroaches on natural ecosystems, and often involves massive inputs of
fertilizer that lead to toxic run-off and pollution of water sources.”

Another danger of the EPA’s decision is the inevitability of consumer confusion at the pumps.

McMahon warned, “Using more ethanol in engines not configured to run on
ethanol could lead to engine damage and increased emissions of toxic
air pollutants.”

Last year, Friends of the Earth joined the Clean Air Task Force to
bring suit against the EPA for its failure to appropriately regulate
greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels.

Friends of the Earth advocates better approaches to addressing fuel
demands, including the use of more efficient vehicles, smart zoning and
transportation plans that reduce the need for driving, and the
transition to clean energy electricity as a vehicle power source.

For more information on corn ethanol and other harmful biofuels, visit


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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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