Studies: Transition to E15 can boost Iowa’s economy, environment

By Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | January 13, 2022

On Jan. 11, Governor Reynolds highlighted biofuels and her commitment to expand consumer access to E15 and B20 as one of her top priorities for this legislative session. Two new studies have found if Iowans were to transition to regularly using E15 instead of E10 consumers would see several positive economic and health benefits.

The studies conducted by national experts looked specifically at what the economic and environmental impacts would be from E15 replacing E10 as the most commonly purchased fuel in Iowa. Over 95% of vehicles on the road today are approved by the EPA to use E15. Key findings included saving consumers nearly $134 million at the pump each year, supporting almost 4,000 jobs, and reducing 258,894 tons of CO2 annually.

“Tonight, Governor Reynolds reminded Iowans of the substantial impact biofuels have on our entire state, and we thank her for her leadership and support,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “These studies underline the positive impact if E15 were to replace E10 in the marketplace. Millions in savings at the pump. Greater demand for farm products. Massive reductions in tailpipe emissions and CO2 benefiting our health and environment. The legislature should act quickly to create a nation-leading biofuels policy. Then Iowa can export not just our biofuels, but our biofuels policy as well.”

Links to the studies as well as summaries of study findings are below.

Economic Impact: John Urbanchuk, ABF Economics

    •Consumers would realize nearly $134 million in savings at the pump

    •Increase annual ethanol demand by 61 million gallons

    •Add another $95.4 million to Iowa’s GDP

    •Generate an additional $73 million in yearly household income

    •Support almost 4,000 jobs in all sectors of the state’s economy

Health & Environmental Benefits: Dr. Steffen Mueller, Univ. of Illinois – Chicago

    •Annually reduction in CO2 emissions by 258,894 tons

    •COemission reduction equates to over $11 million in annual avoided damages

    •Saving Iowa lives by diluting poisonous carcinogens currently used in regular gasoline

    •Total health savings at $117.5 million with potential for additional savings due to reduced particulate matter in tailpipe emissions.