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    AAA Urges EPA to Reject Petition to Increase Ethanol in Gas

    Association argues additional data is needed on the potential impact associated with the use of E15.

    WASHINGTON -- AAA, the nation's largest automobile club, is calling for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject a petition that would increase the permissible content of ethanol blended in gasoline to 15 percent, or E15, from the currently allowed 10 percent, commonly known as E10.

    "While AAA supports the integration of alternative fuels into the nation's fuel supply, additional data is needed on the potential impact associated with the use of E15 gasoline over time on the country's vehicle fleet," AAA vice president of public affairs, Kathleen Marvaso, said in a statement released yesterday. "Therefore, AAA is opposed to increasing the ethanol content in gasoline to 15 percent without unbiased, objective research first proving that E15 will not damage engine systems and component parts, compromise vehicle performance and fuel efficiency, or increase vehicle emissions."

    After reviewing the petition, AAA identified the following areas of concern:
    -- Potential negative impact on vehicle exhaust emissions.
    -- Degradation of engine operability in cold start-up conditions.
    -- The potential to cause catastrophic engine damage.
    -- System component damage.
    -- Older vehicles are not designed to run on ethanol and would unquestionably experience poor drivability and reduced engine reliability.
    -- Catalytic converters could be impacted by increased temperatures caused by higher alcohol content.
    -- Vehicle warranty and service agreement issues.
    -- E15 will reduce the fuel efficiency of the vehicles in which it is used.
    A copy of AAA's full comments to the EPA can be found on at www.AAA.com/news.

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