Lobbying Coalition Calls for Congressional Hearing on Ethanol

Posted August 25, 2010 at 1:34pm

A coalition of 39 food, power equipment, energy, recreational and environmental groups sent letters to Capitol Hill on Wednesday urging Congress to hold a hearing in September on the Environmental Protection Agency’s pending decision on ethanol blends in fuel.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the American Meat Institute, the Center for Coastal Conservation, Friends of the Earth and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association all signed on to the letters to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Energy and Public Works Committee.

The groups said the Department of Energy should accelerate research into “mid-level” ethanol blends. The coalition of odd bedfellows, whose website is followthescience.org, launched in July. Its main goal is to block a proposal to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline from the current 10 percent to 15 percent.

The coalition is calling on Congress to require more scientific testing before allowing the administration to increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline.

The EPA is expected to make a decision by the end of September on whether to approve the gasoline, which is 15 percent ethanol.

“We believe there are many important questions remaining before EPA makes its final decision on the mid-level ethanol fuel waiver,” the groups wrote.

The American Petroleum Institute, the American Sportfishing Association, Service Station Dealers of America & Allied Trades and the Specialty Equipment Market Association also signed the letter.