Growth Energy responds to Inhofe’s anti-ethanol claims

By Erin Voegele | July 20, 2017

Growth Energy has spoken out to a floor speech made by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., in opposition to the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, which aims to extend the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to fuel blends with more than 10 percent ethanol.

In his speech, Inhofe claimed that the Renewable Fuel Standard harms the environment and that ethanol increases food prices and damages vehicle engines. “With all the problems with the RFS it would be irresponsible of the Congress to give them this waiver without addressing the larger issues with the program,” he said. “Between CAFE and the RFS, the fuel industry has its hands full. But the war is being waged on all fronts and I will be working to address as much as I can while I can. There are no guarantees that the next administration after President Trump will not return to the ‘regulate to death’ plans of the Obama administration.”

In response, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor stressed the Fuel Retailer Choice Act is about protecting consumer choice year-round and noted E15 is better for the environment, improves engine performance, and saves Americans money at the pump. “We stand firm that Congress should put the needs of consumers ahead of the oil industry,” she added.

“E15 is a federally approved fuel for all cars made since 2001,” Skor said. “It boosts octane, saves consumers up to 10 cents per gallon, and improves the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and displacing toxic additives in gasoline. Consumers have recently surpassed 1 billion miles driven on the fuel, and it is now available at more than 900 retail sites across 29 states. Drivers are demanding E15, and more retailers are offering it every day.

“However, due to an outdated regulation that hasn’t been updated since 1990, gas stations are forced to restrict their sales to flex-fuel vehicles only, or remove it from sale altogether between June 1 and Sept. 15,” she continued. “That means that when gas prices are at their peak, consumers are denied the choice of an affordable, cleaner option for their cars.

“A vote against this bill is a vote against consumers—it’s saying that you don’t trust consumers to make their own choices at the pump,” Skor said. “In fact, Growth Energy released a survey showing that U.S. small engine owners are pleased with the performance of their fuel and find it easy to pick the best option, including regular unleaded blends of 10 percent ethanol (E10).

“This legislation is a common-sense fix that has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate,” Skor continued. “We applaud the bill’s champions in the Senate for keeping the focus where it needs to be—ensuring year-round consumer savings at the pump.”