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Dorgan Says EPA Decision on Ethanol Use is a Good Step Forward but Does Not Go Far Enough

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Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) says the announcement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Wednesday to allow the use of higher ethanol blends for newer cars puts us on the right path toward reducing American's dependence on foreign oil. However, he says the decision does not go far enough, "The EPA should immediately act to extend the partial waiver to more vehicles to boost the ethanol market, creating jobs and opportunity in rural America."

The EPA announced Wednesday that it will issue a partial waiver to allow the use of 15 percent ethanol (E15) in gasoline in vehicles manufactured in 2007 and later.

As Chairman of the Senate's Energy and Water Appropriations subcommittee, Dorgan has helped fund research to determine the effects of higher blends of ethanol on vehicles currently on the road. Over two years he directed $30 million to the Department of Energy to conduct a rapid and thorough examination of E15 blends in vehicles, which formed the basis of the EPA's decision today.

"I'm not surprised to see that these tests have demonstrated that we can responsibly use gasoline with higher blends of ethanol without negative effects," Dorgan said. "Ethanol is a clean, abundant renewable resource that can substantially reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil and reduce harmful emissions. By increasing allowable ethanol levels in convention gasoline, we'll be using safer, homegrown energy."


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