2015 – The Year of E15

E15 is available at more than 100 stations in 15 states and it's only a matter of time before E15 is offered in every state in the nation, writes Tom Buis of Growth Energy. The industry got to that point by working together.
By Tom Buis | January 16, 2015

In unity there is strength, and there is tremendous unity within the ethanol industry. As a proud partner of the Fuels America coalition, Growth Energy is working closely with all stakeholders in the industry to succeed and break though the blendwall. Our industry is also coming together to make 2015 the year of E15.

First-generation producers, second-generation producers, farm groups, seed companies, equipment manufacturers, enzyme companies and a whole host of others have joined together in pursuit of a common goal—improving our nation’s energy security, national security, environment and economy. All this while giving consumers a choice and savings at the pump. No one individual can accomplish these ambitious goals alone. It takes a team and, unquestionably, we have the best.

Each day, the strength of our voice and the reach of our story grows. Hardworking individuals in the Heartland are being heard from Washington state to Washington, D.C., as we have engaged in grassroots activism with top officials and lawmakers. You took part in our Step Up to the Plate campaign, as well as other grassroots campaigns, which energized and encouraged farmers, vendors, consumers and community leaders who benefit from our industry to speak up and advocate for ethanol.

Many of you even made the journey to Capitol Hill to sit down and share our industry’s story with policymakers in person. It is essential that Congress understands how important the renewable fuel standard (RFS) is for our nation, and no one communicates this message better than you. You are the heart of our industry, and I’d like to thank everyone who took the time out of a busy schedule to advocate for the industry. It truly made a difference. With our combined efforts, no legislative changes were made to the RFS in 2014.

Additionally, a terrible proposed rule from the U.S. EPA regarding the 2014 RFS renewable volume obligation (RVO) numbers was sent back to the drawing board after our industry overwhelmingly rose in unity against a shortsighted policy. That proposal would have taken our nation backward. Although the delay in announcing the 2014 RVOs is disappointing and the uncertainty created by it is frustrating, the most important part is that EPA gets it right. We commend the agency for listening to all stakeholders and revisiting the rule.

The momentum for high-performance, low-cost renewable fuels is unstoppable. Stations offering E15 will continue to pop up across the nation as we work together to make it a standard offering at the pump. Nationwide, moving to E15 will create another 136,000 American jobs that can’t be outsourced, reduce our demand for foreign oil by 7 billion gallons and reduce greenhouse gas emissions relative to regular gasoline, all while saving consumers between 5 and 15 cents per gallon at the pump.

Currently, E15 is available at more than 100 stations in 15 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. We know that it’s only a matter of time before E15 is offered in every state in the nation, and we know that we’re going to get to that point by working together.

Through efforts, like Prime the Pump, our industry is working to get higher blends into the marketplace. 2015 is going to be the year we are going to see E15 break through and break down the blendwall. Market development is critical and we are seeing continual growth and adaption of E15 by savvy retailers who understand that consumer choice and savings will drive more business to their stores.

We are united by an unwavering belief in the U.S. ethanol industry and its ability to feed the world and fuel America. Together we will continue to grow, enter into new markets, create new coproducts and break down that mythical blendwall once and for all. Our friends in the oil industry may have deep pocketbooks, but we have the facts, the momentum and the numbers on our side. When we put all of our energy and resources toward a common goal, there is nothing that can stop us.

All of our accomplishments would not have been possible without each and every one of our members and industry supporters, and for that, I am deeply thankful. It is a true privilege to work with such a passionate, talented and driven group of people. The dedication and determination of our industry is unmatched and will take us far. I can’t wait to see what great things we will accomplish together in 2015!

Author: Tom Buis
CEO, Growth Energy