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Dec 1, 2009 12:00 PM by Associated Press

EPA: More engine tests needed on ethanol blends

The Environmental Protection Agency wants more tests to determine if car engines can handle higher concentrations of ethanol in gasoline before deciding whether to increase the blend requirement from 10 to 15 percent.

The EPA said Tuesday that two tests indicate engine performance should not be harmed by the higher ethanol blend. But it said it wants more tests to make that certain. In a letter to a pro-ethanol group, the EPA said it won't make a decision until next year after all the testing is completed.

Growth Energy, which petitioned to increased the 10 percent blend standard, called the EPA letter "a strong signal" that it will increase the requirement. But a group representing oil refiners applauded the call for more studies.

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