“THE WAITING is the hardest part” (to borrow from Tom Petty’s hit song) when it comes to EPA’s delays concerning E15. Last November, EPA wrote a letter to Growth Energy, saying it was evaluating the group’s request to allow for the use of up to 15% ethanol in gasoline.

The EPA said the DOE was “testing 19 vehicles to examine the long term emissions impacts of higher ethanol blends on newer motor vehicles, and is expected to be completed by August 2010.” The DOE had completed data on just two vehicles at the time. The EPA noted that if the test results remained supportive, it “would be in a position to approve E15 for 2001 and newer vehicles in the mid-year timeframe.”

Just how many additional vehicles have been tested to date? Farm Industry News contacted the DOE to learn whether there had been a slowdown in its testing, but received no response.

In its November 2009 letter to Growth Energy, the EPA stated that it “will continue to keep Growth Energy, other stakeholders and the general public informed of the progress and results of the vehicle testing program ¼.”

But when we asked EPA about why it has delayed decisions regarding the amount of ethanol that can be blended in gasoline from 10 to 15%, its response was to send the November 30, 2009, letter that it sent to Growth Energy. We asked a second time and received the same response.

Maybe being kept in the dark, not waiting, is the hardest part. I think we deserve more from our federal agencies.