Growth Energy: More biofuels vital to improving US energy outlook

By Growth Energy | February 15, 2018

Federal forecasts in the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s newly released Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018) demonstrate a clear and growing need for U.S. biofuels says Chris Bliley, vice president of regulatory affairs at Growth Energy.

The EIA “reference” case, which contains projections through 2050 based on current trends and regulations, predicts an 18 percent increase in miles traveled by U.S. motorists in traditional light-duty vehicles. That’s an increase from 2.8 trillion miles in 2017 to 3.3 trillion miles in 2050. EIA also reports that, “Retail prices of motor gasoline and diesel fuel are projected to increase from 2018 to 2050 in the reference case, largely because of expected increases in crude oil prices.”

“Blending more homegrown, cost-efficient biofuels into the fuel supply is the ready-made solution to lowering prices at the pump while also dramatically reducing emissions,” Bliley said.

“We don’t need federal data to remind us that gasoline prices never stay low forever. Homegrown fuels like ethanol are already saving the average American household $142, according to the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, and those savings will only grow as the demand for transportation rises in the decades to come.

“Federal experts agree that ethanol slashes emissions by 43 percent over the full energy life-cycle—from farm to engine—but that the level of carbon savings is rising with each passing year thanks to innovations in biofuel production and precision agriculture. We must reduce emissions in the transportation sector, and that means deploying higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85 as well as mid-level ethanol blends like E30 alongside advanced and cellulosic biofuels. A strong Renewable Fuel Standard is vital to that effort, and we urge the Environmental Protection Agency to reject calls from a few fossil fuel advocates who want to hold back the rapid growth of ethanol production in rural America.”