Spotting the “Corporate Greed”

by Brian McGraw on November 11, 2010

in Blog, Politics

The Renewable Fuels Association posted a note today deploring the recent lawsuit by the American Petroleum Institute over the EPA decision to increase the maximum blend wall for ethanol in conventional gasoline by 50% from E10 to E15. They claim that it is motivated by “corporate greed.”

Oil companies are in the business of refining oil and selling gasoline to consumers. They aren’t in the business (well, some of them are at this point having bought ethanol plants) of producing and selling ethanol — they don’t make money from it. What would Coca-Cola say if the FDA began mandating that Coca-Cola begin blending increasing percentages of an off-brand cola into their product in order to give the off-brand a guaranteed market share? I suspect they wouldn’t be too happy with this and would fight to be allowed to sell their product as it is, without required additives.

Furthermore, there are still a number of issues the EPA hasn’t clarified with respect to liability for E15. E15 has been approved for newer vehicles, but it isn’t quite clear that it is okay to use in many of the older vehicles still on the road today. It also isn’t clear that E15 can be used in lawn mowers, outboard boating engines, etc. Will the oil refiners be responsible for damages by people who mis-fuel? Will the ethanol industry take responsibility for any problems? (No) Will engine warranties be valid if consumers use a fuel they aren’t supposed to?

Apparently, a portion of the Clean Air Act allows consumers to sue retailers if they put the wrong type of fuel in their vehicle. If stations are now offering E10 and E15 there will be mis-fuelings, and if these lead to damages then there are going to be lawsuits going everywhere. Aside from the obvious loss of profit, it isn’t surprising that the API wants to avoid this liability nightmare.

Are the oil companies displaying corporate greed here? Or is it the ethanol industry who has used government to obtain guaranteed access to a larger and larger portion of the fuel supply (as well as a tax credit on top of it)?

wizab November 29, 2010 at 12:30 am

i am tired of this hog wash global warming

up here where i live it has gotten colder instead of you so called gw

further more if you and the rest of cohert would have stopped the big automobile distibusters stopped by buying the patents of sme entrepeneurs who had cars that could do 50 miles per gallon and also eleltric automobiles

so stop the cherades and tax crabs there is proof in popular mechanics

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