“E.P.A.’s decision to increase the ethanol blend to E15 will further increase volatility in the grain markets,” said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A. “This could hasten the reduction in wheat acres and raise Americans’ food bills. U.S. cropland is already stretched to its limit. Increasing the blend has the potential to further impact commodity stocks and ultimately food prices. The grain markets are currently experiencing near record volatility and prices have edged closer to the record levels of 2008.”
The announcement comes a little more than three months after the E.P.A. issued a decision allowing the use of E15 fuel blends in vehicles with model years of 2007 and newer. That decision was made after review of extensive testing by the Department of Energy (D.O.E.) and other available data on the impact of E15 on engine durability and emissions. Prior to the E.P.A.’s decision in October 2010, only a blend of up to 10% ethanol was allowed in gasoline.
Lisa Jackson, administrator of the E.P.A., said the most recent decision on E15 came after a review of the D.O.E.’s testing on E15’s effect on emissions from cars manufactured between 2001 and 2006.
“Recently completed testing and data analysis show that E15 does not harm emissions control equipment in newer cars and light trucks,” Ms. Jackson said. “Wherever sound science and the law support steps to allow more home-grown fuels in America’s vehicles, this administration takes those steps.”