The Ethical Debate over Gasoline Essay

The Ethical Debate over Gasoline Essay

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The national spotlight is dominated today with the debate over how much control should the government have in an individual’s life. With this in mind the question is asked, should the government be allowed to dictate the quality of gasoline that individuals use in their vehicles? Unbeknownst to consumers the Environmental Protection Agency recently approved the sale of E15 gasoline which contains harmfully high levels of ethanol. John Tomlin states, a “recent survey showed that a majority of consumers (95 percent) had not heard of E15 gasoline or the damage it may cause” (1). Is it ethical for the government to make this determination without notifying the public? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ethical behavior as, “following accepted rules of morally right and good behavior” (1). Based on this definition, changing to E15 gasoline without the publics’ knowledge is ethically wrong because it can cause accelerated engine wear, fuel system damage, and ultimately result in car warranties being voided. This change in the quality of gasoline blends has proven to be more cost effective to producers, but in the long run it will end up being more costly to consumers.
Tom Taylor states that, “AAA automotive engineering experts have reviewed the available research and believe that’s sustained use of E15 in both new and older vehicles could result in significant problems such as accelerated engine wear and failure”(1). It is irresponsible for the government to approve these changes knowing the negative effects this gasoline will have on consumers. This accelerated engine wear and failure will result in consumers having to spend large amounts of money to repair the damage caused by this product. Furthermore, the use of this gasoline co...


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...et without adequate safe guards does not responsibly meet the needs of consumers’” (1). This irresponsible behavior on behalf of the government further proves that they are acting unethically when they change the gasoline blend used by the public without properly informing them.
Research has proven that there are serious concerns with E15 gasoline and its effect on motor vehicles. Unfortunately, a majority of car owners have never heard of E15 gasoline and are unaware of the damage it can cause to their vehicles. Changing the quality of gasoline available to consumers without their knowledge is irresponsible and unscrupulous. The fact that the government has chosen to ignore industry concerns pertaining to this new blend of gasoline demonstrates they are not following the accepted rules of morally right behavior and therefore they are guilty of unethical behavior.

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