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E15: Buyer Beware

October 1, 2014

That the Environmental Protection Agency takes its job seriously has never been called into question. Its mission “to protect human health and the environment” broadly covers all of its regulatory and enforcement activities from the protection of water resources to the reduction of carbon emissions.

But the agency’s latest warning about dangerous refrigerants points to the EPA’s uneven — and politically motivated — enforcement.

On July 22, the EPA issued a news release saying that homeowners and refrigeration technicians should not use refrigerants labeled “22-a” or “R-22a” in existing home or auto air conditioning systems. The agency explained that it hasn’t tested them, they contain a flammable chemical, and they have not been approved for use.

But how does that square with the EPA’s approval of the sale of E15, a motor fuel containing 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline? Ethanol is flammable, highly corrosive and has been found to cause severe engine damage that could leave motorists stranded on roadways.

The EPA says it approved E15 at the request of Growth Energy, a coalition of ethanol producers, as a means to inject more corn-based ethanol into the nation’s motor fuels.  Read more from the article here.