Ready for Another Summer with Year-Round E15

After a year that most Americans would sooner forget, we’re heading into a new summer driving season with fewer headwinds, greater momentum and a groundswell of support for lower-carbon fuels.
By Emily Skor | April 12, 2021

With the second anniversary of year-round E15 just around the corner, prospects are bright for America’s biofuels industry. That’s because, after a year that most Americans would sooner forget, we’re heading into a new summer driving season with fewer headwinds, greater momentum and a groundswell of support for lower-carbon fuels.

Motorists are hitting the road again, the U.S. EPA hasn’t rubber-stamped any new biofuel demand destruction and retailers are more excited than ever to offer greater choice at the pump. The bright promise of 2020 may have been dimmed by COVID-19, but now we’re tackling climate change head on and opening the floodgates for E15.

That’s why Growth Energy is working overtime to ensure that this EPA upholds President Joe Biden’s promises to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and takes advantage of every opportunity to fuel our country’s climate progress with homegrown biofuels. We’re already hearing the same old song-and-dance routine from refiners that hope to derail the growth of higher blends with tired, debunked claims about American biofuels and the obligations of the RFS.

Fortunately, the facts are on our side. The Senate already voted once this year, 26-74, to shoot down a midnight-hour attempt by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to derail the RFS with a bogus attempt to cap the price of renewable identification numbers (RINs). Now the Biden administration must do the same with strong 2021 biofuel targets that will deliver immediate progress toward our nation’s climate goals.

We know what the data shows: an increased share of ethanol in our fuel supply has the power to accelerate our transition to a healthier, zero-emission future. And it’s a move we don’t have to wait for—we can start today with the vehicles we already have. Ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 46% compared to regular gasoline. Nationwide adoption of low-carbon biofuel blends of 15% can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an additional 17.62 million tons annually, the equivalent of taking 3.85 million cars off the road. As policymakers look for environmentally conscious options, the solution is clear: ethanol is and will be the driving force behind a healthier, cleaner environment for decades to come.

We’re also working closely with retailers, who are pressing ahead to deliver cleaner, affordable options to their customers. Just this spring, the retail market surpassed 20 billion miles driven on E15—a testament to the continued success of E15 at the pump. We hit that milestone, despite a terrible year for the broader economy, thanks to our retail partners who expanded the number of stations selling E15 by 10% in 2020, bringing E15 to more than 2,300 stations across the country.

Some retailers are even making E15 the new standard option—a simple switch that promises exciting growth across major markets. Major distributors are getting in the game, too, acknowledging the increasing popularity of E15 and the significant climate benefits it offers.

This is only the beginning. Today, we have the opportunity to make E15 the new normal at the pump. And that’s exactly what Growth is doing—with retailers and regulators alike.


Author: Emily Skor
CEO, Growth Energy
202.545.4000
eskor@growthenergy.org