EPA Delays Ethanol Decision

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking more time to decide whether it will approve a request from the ethanol industry to boost the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline.

The EPA was supposed to decide by Dec. 1, on a petition from Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers on whether to let gasoline contain up to 15 percent ethanol, according to a Reuters report. U.S. gasoline is now approved to contain up to 10 percent ethanol, which is made mostly from corn.

But agency needs more time to review test data on the effects of higher ethanol-blended gasoline on vehicles. The EPA expects to have final vehicle testing data mid-June, according to a letter to Growth Energy, posted by the EPA on its Web site.

The EPA said initial tests show vehicles built after 2001 "will likely be able to accommodate" gasoline blended with as much as 15-percent ethanol (E15).

"We are confident the ongoing tests will further confirm the data we submitted in the Growth Energy Green Jobs Waiver and silence those critics, allowing more American-produced energy to enter the market," Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, told Reuters.

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