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Ethanol mandate: Jumping the gun in big way

(OilPrice) U.S. consumers aren’t sure the ethanol math is adding up here as they prepare for this year’s new federal mandate—they’re also not sure whether it’s good for their car engines.

To wit: This year, the use of renewable fuels must rise to 16.55 billion gallons, and this means more ethanol and more ethanol-blended gasoline for cars. More specifically, US refiners will be required to use 13.8 billion gallons of corn ethanol—up from 13.2 billion gallons now–but this is too much to blend with gasoline.

Right now, the gas Americans are putting in their cars is about 10% ethanol, but even this hasn’t been approved by regulators for ALL cars. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the E15 blend—for newer cars–thanks to a lot of lobbying by the ethanol producers.