E15 Gas Brings Conflict to Pumps
by David Shaffer (Star Tribune) A new blend of ethanol and gasoline may soon show up at the gas station pumps — along with mixed messages on whether it’s safe to put it in your vehicle.
Motorists driving up to pumps for the new, higher-ethanol “E15″ will see government-mandated orange-and-black signs that say the new fuel blend is approved for use in all 2001 and newer cars and light trucks.
Two of the biggest carmakers offer puzzling or contrary messages, right on their gasoline caps. Toyota warns on its 2012 model gas caps not to use E15. Ford offers less-explicit advice.
…Most automakers, including General Motors and Chrysler, have not placed explicit E15 warnings on their gas caps. Still, the auto industry is part of a broad legal challenge to stop E15.
…”Our vehicles aren’t backward compatible with E15, and we didn’t know when it was going to hit the market,” said Toyota spokeswoman Cindy Knight. “We don’t want customers to damage their vehicles. It would not be covered under warranty.”
Ford’s ethanol message on its gas portal — its vehicles don’t have caps — dates to 2006. The idea was to warn motorists not to fill up with high-ethanol blends of E20 to E85 at pumps meant for flexible-fuel vehicles, said Cynthia Williams, Ford’s environmental policy manger.
…Earlier this month, a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., heard arguments by the oil industry, carmakers and others that have challenged the EPA’s E15 decision. If the court rules against the EPA, it could derail the introduction of E15. READ MORE and MORE (Greeley Tribune) and MORE (Missourian)