By Dayton Business Journal

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given the green light to a controversial boost in the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline used by cars and light trucks manufactured between 2001 and 2006.

The EPA on Oct. 13, 2010, granted a waiver for E15 fuel â¿¿ a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline â¿¿ to be used in 2007 and newer light-duty motor vehicles, creating additional demand for products made by companies like The Andersons Marathon Ethanol LLC, a 110 million-gallon ethanol plant that opened in 2008 in Darke County. Previously, fuel blends were limited to a maximum of 10 percent ethanol.

The Greenville plant is a joint venture between The Andersons Inc. (Nasdaq: ANDE) and Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) and is the largest plant of its kind in Ohio.

The EPAâ¿¿s latest decision will allow the E15 blend to be used in 62 percent of vehicles on the road, according to car industry data.

⿿Today⿿s decision greenlights the use of E15 for nearly two out of every three cars on the road today and further proves ethanol is a safe, effective choice for American drivers,⿝ Renewable Fuels Association president Bob Dinneen said in a news release.

The National Corn Growers Association also applauded the EPAâ¿¿s announcement, saying the use of higher blends of ethanol in vehicles is safe.

Charles Drevna, president of the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, disagreed, saying in a news release that the EPA acted ⿿without adequate scientific evidence to endanger the gasoline-powered engines used by millions of Americans in their vehicles and outdoor power equipment.⿝

Widespread use of E15, he said, could ⿿leave consumers stranded, injured or worse ... .⿝

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