WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) -- Trade group American Petroleum Institute said it welcomed a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress that would halt the introduction of gasoline-ethanol blends.
U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., introduced legislation that would require the Environmental Protection Agency to avoid introducing gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol -- E15 -- until more studies are conducted into the fuel's effects.
Sensenbrenner said he was concerned about the possibility that automobile engines could be harmed through using the higher ethanol blend.
"We have a responsibility to ensure that Americans using gas-powered machinery are not put at risk due to faulty fuel that has not been adequately vetted," he said in a statement.
API Director Bob Greco hailed the measure as a sign of growing concern about EPA regulations on renewable fuels.
"EPA approved E15 before vehicle testing was complete and we now know the fuel may cause significant mechanical problems in millions of cars on the road today," Greco said in a statement.
The EPA notes that E15 isn't recommended for motorcycles, vehicles older than 2001 and those with heavy-duty engines. E10, a 10-percent ethanol blend, is the current standard.
API last month called on the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower-court decision opening the door to gasoline containing higher amounts of ethanol.
Funding watchdog OpenSecrets.org finds the oil and gas industry was the No. 5 contributor to Sensenbrenner's campaign last year.
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