Nearly two-dozen organizations including the American Meat Institute are voicing opposition to the call on the Environmental Protection Agency to approve E12. They claim the agency should not approve the request because the higher ethanol blend has not been tested on gasoline engines. National Corn Growers Association Chairman Darrin Ihnen says that simply isn't true.
"There's been more testing done on ethanol than probably on any other fuel and we continue to do testing," Ihnen said. "Ethanol is an oxygenate additive so we think there's no reason you couldn't use E12. Obviously we want E15 and they're doing a lot of testing even on higher blends and so what happens when all the science is there and they say we can use E15 or E20 or whatever that number is. What happens then? What will their excuse be next time; that's what's unfortunate."
AMI officials also say there hasn't been a public comment period or the time to review the data submitted in support of E12, which they say circumvents the intent of the Clean Air Act. However, Ihnen says this is just another attack on ethanol designed to sway lawmaker and government official support for renewable fuels.
"AMI and others just continue to find ways to push back on higher blends," Ihnen said. "If you look at the news stories lately coming out of some of the meat groups, they want cheap corn, that's what it amounts to. They want $2 corn or less and that's what they're basing their whole feeding system on and that's unfortunate because that doesn't do all of agriculture any good."
Ihnen says this is not a new argument. Most of these groups also oppose E15 and the use of corn for ethanol production.