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New Coalition Tells Congress: No Extra Ethanol at the Pump

More than a dozen environmental and industry lobbying groups are joining forces to fund an ad campaign against an increase to the amount of ethanol in gasoline.

The odd-bedfellows coalition includes the American Frozen Food Institute, the Boat Owners Association of the United States, the Environmental Working Group, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The groups are running ads Thursday in inside-the-Beltway publications and will continue the following week. Organizers of the effort say more ads are expected after that.

The new coalition, whose website is called Follow the Science, is opposed to a push by ethanol lobbyists to add an amendment to the Senate energy bill that would increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10 percent to 12 percent or 15 percent.

“Some ethanol companies want consumers to pump first and ask questions later,” NPRA President Charles Drevna said in a statement. “Rather than run a giant science experiment on the vehicles and gasoline-powered equipment owned by just about every America family.”

Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis, who supports the ethanol increase, dismissed the coalition’s concerns in a statement, saying that it “completely ignores the academic, government and third-party research that proves a 15 percent blend of ethanol in gasoline can help clean our environment and create jobs, all without any impact on the drivability of our cars.”

“For these industry groups to say that E15 is untested is ludicrous,” Buis added.

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