- The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy and Environment has scheduled a hearing on E15 and other blends of ethanol.
- Critics say the hearing will be long on critics of ethanol and short on testimony from those who have actually studied the use of the renewable fuel blends in automotive engines.
- An EPA spokesmen is included in the witness list, but most of the other testimony will come from ethanol critics, according to the National Corn Growers Association.
National Corn Grower leaders have been around the pike a few times. So they didn’t have much trouble recognizing a hearing scheduled by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Energy and Environment for what it was.
Rather than inviting someone who has actually conducted research on E15 or other blends of ethanol, the subcommittee is planning to hold a hearing featuring witnesses who have long been critical of alternative fuels with little, if any, research to back their claims.
“EPA has been thorough in its work on the E15 waiver request and several outside researchers have been evaluating and analyzing E15 and other blends for a number of years,” said NCGA President Bart Schott. “While EPA will have someone there to testify, the remainder of those on the list of witnesses testifying have a long-standing history of being critical of corn-based ethanol at any level.
“This is an extremely unbalanced panel, and it is easy to see why some consider this hearing to be a sham,” he said, noting that the witness list includes "chicken lobbyists, environmental activists and representatives of major oil companies."
Schott pointed out a growing body of research that not only defends the EPA’s decision to allow E15 as a fuel option for model years 2001 and newer, but looks at other blends and older cars.
“We support sound science and a transparent process,”" Schott said. “That's why we strongly support the EPA's approval of E15 for motor vehicles – a fuel blend that has been thoroughly tested.”