Fueling Freedom

If the ethanol industry embraces a can-do attitude, it will only be a matter of time before E15 is available in every state, writes Tom Buis of Growth Energy.
By Tom Buis | June 15, 2015

Major players in the fuel retail world, like Kum & Go, Mapco, Minnoco, Murphy USA, Protec, Zarco USA, Petro Serve USA and Cenex, are not only fueling cars; they’re fueling freedom. By offering E15 at their stations, they’re bringing consumers the freedom of choice, giving farmers the freedom to earn a good living doing the job they love and providing our nation with freedom from the instability of foreign oil. As we celebrate all of the many freedoms that we are fortunate enough to enjoy in this great nation over the Fourth of July, let’s not forget to thank those retail leaders as well.

E15 has entered the market and continues to grow across the country. If our industry embraces a can-do attitude, it will only be a matter of time before E15 is available in every state. As they say, your attitude determines your altitude. There have been and always will be naysayers, but we cannot allow them to drown out the voices of yes. If Lincoln had listened to the naysayers, we wouldn’t have had a transcontinental railroad. If Eisenhower had listened to the naysayers, we wouldn’t have the interstate highway system. If Kennedy had listened to them, we wouldn’t have put a man on the moon. None of these achievements would have been possible without a can-do attitude.

As an industry, we’ve risen to challenges and will rise to new challenges, all because of our positive thinking. The naysayers out there who are making noise and spreading misinformation to protect their dwindling market share will not hold us back. When critics ask if we can protect the RFS, the answer is yes. Can we get E15 into the marketplace and provide consumers with a much needed choice and savings at the pump? Yes. Can we improve our environment? Yes. Can we strengthen our nation’s rural communities, economy and energy independence? Yes. Yes, we will.

The renewable fuel standard is our nation’s most successful energy policy in the past 40 years. Since its introduction in 2005, the RFS has helped us cut our dependence on foreign oil nearly in half—from 60 percent to 33 percent—cracking the monopolistic stranglehold that the oil industry has on our transportation system and supporting nearly 400,000 jobs here in America. It also allows the United States to lead the world in biofuel innovation, driving the research and development of next-generation biofuels that will break our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels.

What’s more is that all of this significant progress has been made while providing consumers with a choice and much needed savings at the pump. High-performance, low-cost ethanol fuel blends like E15 are well on their way to becoming a standard offering at retail locations across the country. The demand for E15 is strong, and we believe that when consumers are given the choice, they will choose the less-expensive fuel that is better for their engines and our environment.

Nationwide, moving to E15 would create another 136,000 American jobs that can’t be outsourced, reduce the demand for foreign oil by 7 billion gallons and eliminate up to 8 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year—the equivalent of taking 1.68 million vehicles off the road—all while saving consumers even more money at the pump. We know that E15 is the right move at the right time for America, and if every member of our industry embraces that can-do attitude, it won’t be long before consumers across the country will be able to fuel up with freedom.
Author: Tom Buis
CEO, Growth Energy