The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has mandated that all consumers in the United States must purchase at least 4 gallons of gasoline when they go to the gas station, if they are getting fuel from a pump that also offers a new E15 ethanol-gasoline blend.
The Obama administration wants consumers to use more of the E15 fuel – a blend that contains 15 percent ethanol – but the problem is that many gas stations use blender pumps, which offer several types of fuel and, after pumping, there always is a residual amount of fuel in the hose. E15 fuel can potentially damage engines made prior to 2000 and it cannot be used in motorcycles, ATVs, and many other engines, such as lawn mowers and boat engines.
So, to circumvent the potential problems, the EPA is requiring a 4-gallon minimum from blender pumps to ensure that any E15 fuel residue is diluted. (Stations that provide a completely separate, single hose for E15 only are exempt from the rule.)
But many lawmakers, as well as motorcycle and off-road specialists, say the EPA rule is not a viable solution and that requiring people to buy a minimum of 4 gallons of gasoline is not acceptable.
The Obama administration announced in April that it had begun issuing waivers to allow for the sale of gasoline that contains 15 percent volume ethanol (E15), a product previously not approved for the market.
“To enable widespread use of E15, the Obama Administration has set a goal to help fueling station owners install 10,000 blender pumps over the next 5 years,” stated an EPA press release on April 2.