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Ethanol advocates blast committee vote on E15 sales

Ethanol groups have criticized a House Science, Space and Technology Committee vote today in favor of a bill to block sales of a higher blend of ethanol in motor fuel until the government conducts more safety tests.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., was passed 19 to 7, Reuters reported.

Ethanol advocates protested that the E15 blend has already been well tested.

“This is a waste of time and a waste of taxpayer dollars,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “No fuel blend has been tested as thoroughly as E15. No fuel blend has undergone the level of scrutiny E15 has — and passed the tests like E15 did. They’ve been looking at E15 for more than three years.”

“Now Rep. Sensenbrenner wants to move the goal posts again — a move that would only add more red tape and regulation,” Buis said. “This would do nothing to help the American consumer, but only continues our reliance on the OPEC monopoly.”

Renewable Fuels Association CEO Bob Dinneen also decried the bill.

“With many members of Congress complaining about the federal government impeding the ability of small businesses to create jobs, this bill would inject parochial politics into the scientifically established process of approving new fuels,” he said.

“In approving E15, the Department of Energy tested vehicles over millions of driving miles — the equivalent of some 4,700 round trips from Washington to Milwaukee,” Dinneen said. “To suggest more testing is needed is nothing more than a stall tactic that has but one outcome – our continued addiction to oil.”