Proposed Amendments to the Fuel Rating Rule, FTC File No. R811005 #547105-00017

Submission Number:
Theresa Watts
Initiative Name:
Proposed Amendments to the Fuel Rating Rule, FTC File No. R811005

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Proposed Rule: 19 CFR Part 159 for Automotive Fuel Ratings, Certification and Posting generates a rating, certifying, and labeling system in order to assist purchasers in identifying the best fuel for his or her car at the gas pump. I support the proposed rule for the gain in consumer awareness about fuel and the principal components of the rating certificating, and labeling system. However, while the mission of the FTC does not focus on environmental or public health, the proposed rule could consequently affect the environment and the health of the U.S. and global population. As the FTC’s mission is to protect American consumers, I feel that the responsible thing to do is to raise the FTC’s awareness about the environmental and health implications regarding ethanol usage for fuel. The purpose of this comment is two-fold: 1) to provide you with a better understanding of the potential impacts to public health (at both the local, regional, and global levels) from the production of ethanol, and, 2) to provide you with examples of how to leverage the proposed labeling system to communicate a public health message to American consumers of ethanol. PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATION U.S. sales of ethanol fuel are expected to continue to increase—more ethanol will be produced and used. I support a more thorough review and examination of the potential ramifications of this increased production and use, specifically, the potential for adverse impacts to human health and the environment at the local, regional, and global levels. Fuel blending and ethanol production has rapidly increased about six-fold from 2000-2008 (Naidenko 2009). While the proposed bill does not specify where the ethanol will be derived from, about 95 percent of current U.S. ethanol production for fuel comes from the processing of corn and 18 percent of total U.S. corn production per year is directed to the production of ethanol (US Energy Information