The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering whether to increase the percentage of ethanol than can be placed in gasoline. At present, ethanol blends of up to 10 percent are permissible, and studies are underway to determine whether more ethanol can be added without causing harm to vehicles, fuel dispensing equipment and air quality.
It's possible, however, that the EPA won't wait for the study results because the nation is swimming in ethanol.
A couple of years ago, U.S. ethanol production capacity soared after Congress passed the Renewable Fuel Standard mandating increasing amounts of ethanol to the nation's fuel supply. At the time, Congress assumed that gasoline consumption would continue to rise annually, making it possible to add greater ethanol supplies over a perio... more »