WASHINGTON – The American Meat Institute joined a broad coalition of industry groups in support of legislation that would overturn waivers allowing gas containing 15 percent ethanol to be used for many passenger cars and light trucks.

In February, Senators Roger Wicker and David Vitter introduced the legislation, S.344 which would also bar the Environmental Protection Agency from granting any waiver for a blend above 10 percent ethanol.

“EPA’s flawed waivers allowing E15 amount to government bureaucrats issuing short-sighted regulations that negatively impact families and businesses across the country,” said Wicker, a member of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee. “The concerns surrounding E15 that existed prior to the waivers have increased instead of diminishing.”

The coalition wrote a letter to the Senators expressing support for the bill. The letter stated that unintended consequences of EPA granting waiver petitions from the ethanol industry had become clear.

“In fact, subsequent testing has shown that E15 may damage even approved vehicles, and a recent survey shows that up to a third of the pumps carrying E15 are not properly labeling the fuel- which will likely lead to misfueling of non-approved engines,” the letter stated. “In addition to the impacts on engines, an increase in ethanol content will have well-documented detrimental effects on food and feed prices at home and abroad, and on the environment.”

“Whether you drive a car, truck, boat, or tractor, misfueling with E15 could result in engine failure, increased emissions, and the voiding of warranty coverage,” said Vitter. “It is irresponsible for EPA to allow E15 without sufficient testing and technical analysis. I support an all-inclusive energy strategy, but experimenting before understanding the consequences and potential cost of using E15 is unfair to consumers.”

In February, AMI and other groups appealed to the US Supreme Court a DC Circuit Court decision rejecting a challenge to EPA's grant of partial waivers for use of E15.