Another Big Step for E15

By Tom Buis | March 05, 2012

Three long years after filing papers to lift the regulatory caps on how much ethanol can be blended into motor fuel in the United States, our industry saw the U.S. EPA take one of its final actions on the Growth Energy E15 petition—clearing the path forward for retailers to sell E15. This is a monumental victory for the American ethanol industry. And with gasoline prices expected to cost motorists $5 a gallon this summer, it could not have come at a more important time for our nation. E15 is the only proven antidote to the disease that is our nation’s addiction to costly, foreign oil.

At Growth Energy we have never wavered in our efforts to achieve greater access to the marketplace for America’s fuel, ethanol. The ethanol industry has the capacity to provide a greater share of our nation’s fuel. Currently, we are up against the blend wall. Scaling the blend wall has not been easy, and getting widespread use for E15 still presents challenges. We will continue to clear any remaining hurdles, however, because it is the right thing to do—for our industry, and for our nation. Effort equals results, and we will continue to put in the effort to create more market access and provide consumers with a less expensive homegrown alternative to foreign oil. 

The move to E15 is purely voluntary, but with ethanol selling at market prices far below that of gasoline, it shouldn’t take long for Americans to realize that higher ethanol blends can save money at the pump. Now it is up to the retailers and individual fuel companies to register for approval to sell E15. Growth Energy is committed to working with the retail industry to bring E15 to their stations. With the path clear toward a federally approved, lower-cost fuel blend, we are encouraged that retailers will move quickly.

The importance of E15 in helping our industry cannot be lost. The importance of E15 in helping our nation—by creating jobs, by scrubbing our air clean of the emissions from fossil fuels, by strengthening our national security—should not be lost either.

A full move to E15 creates a bigger market for American ethanol that could help create as many as 136,000 new jobs in the United States and eliminate as much as 8 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the air in a year—the equivalent of taking 1.35 million vehicles off the road. Increasing the domestic, renewable fuel supply would also displace some of the 7 billion gallons of oil that is imported every day into the United States from countries such as Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

The U.S. ethanol industry today is fueling new frontiers—right here in America.

Author: Tom Buis
CEO, Growth Energy