This decision was made despite repeated warnings from industry experts who have been pleading for more time to perform exhaustive testing. Were they being overly cautious? That’s a difficult argument to make, particularly since we told you last month that one delay in testing came from the fact that the higher ethanol blend fuel was melting down the seals in pumps and storage tanks during testing.

The laundry list of potential problems from this decision is extensive. Asking distributors to carry yet another fuel (even if it doesn’t melt their pumps) will require logistical juggling, equipment changes, new signs and other expenses which are inevitably passed on down to the consumer. Ethanol burns hotter than conventional fuel, leading to earlier failure of catalytic converters. (An expensive fix, as any of you who have been hit with it at the garage will attest.)