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EPA approves ethanol increase

Thu., Oct. 14, 2010

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration says gas stations can start selling fuel with more ethanol – a mixture of up to 15 percent – but it’s only recommended for cars and light trucks built since 2007.

Motorists with older vehicles will need to watch what they’re pumping or risk damaging their engines with too much corn-based fuel, the Environmental Protection Agency says. The current blend is 10 percent ethanol.

The move means that gas stations, if they choose to sell the fuel, will have to use special pumps and signs to make sure consumers don’t fill their vehicles with the wrong fuel.

The ethanol industry says the agency should have allowed the higher blend for more vehicles, arguing that testing shows that it is safe. The EPA was more cautious, saying Wednesday that it will wait until more tests are completed in November to approve vehicles manufactured between 2001 and 2006.

The agency said owners of cars and trucks made before that – along with motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles or non-road engines – will have to wait even longer, if such vehicles are approved at all.


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