New EPA ethanol rule would harm engines, refiners warn

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The government's latest mandate for blending corn ethanol in gasoline would raise the cost of fuel and potentially damage millions of vehicle engines, the oil industry argues in comments it sent to the Environmental Protection Agency on Monday.

The American Petroleum Institute and refiners previewed their comments on a conference call with reporters, saying the EPA's latest Renewable Fuel Standard proposal would increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline to dangerous levels beginning in 2016.

EPA's fuel standard requires oil refiners to blend increasing amounts of corn ethanol and other renewable fuels into the nation's gasoline supply. EPA hit the reset button on the 2014 proposal late last year, after an outcry from renewable fuel producers forced it to scrap an earlier proposal.

The biofuel industry accused EPA of being overly accommodating to the oil industry in writing the proposal, which for the first time in the program's 10-year history reduced the blending targets for corn-based ethanol.