The American ethanol industry stands on the brink of bridging the final federal hurdle to E15 availability after three years of concerted efforts. Ethanol producers have joined together to fund a nationwide fuel survey, which will satisfy the final requirement of the partial E15 waiver granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“The National Corn Growers Association applauds the ethanol industry for this momentous accomplishment,” said Garry Niemeyer, NCGA President. “We have long understood the economic, environmental and national security benefits of this renewable, domestic fuel. Finally, the hard work invested in pushing to increase these benefits through increased ethanol usage can come to fruition.”
Ethanol producers stepped up to provide the vast majority of the funding for this survey despite owning only a handful of the 160,000 gas stations that participate in the survey.
“Ethanol producers have taken on a proactive role in this process and American consumers will benefit,” Niemeyer said. “Ethanol has the capacity to lower staggering prices at the pump while also reducing pollution. With the survey in place, E15 is set for commercial sale as laid out by the EPA.”
Now, efforts to promote E15 adoption will shift to focus on specific states with regulatory issues that act as an impediment. Notably some states, including Iowa, Illinois and Kansas, are prepared for commencement of E15 sales immediately upon registration of all parties with EPA and implementation of the Misfueling Mitigation Plan.
“We understand that some challenges may still arise, but this step forward renews our optimism that E15 will become a reality for American drivers,” Niemeyer said. “Now, we must overcome pending litigation and anti-ethanol rhetoric by some in Congress in order to reap the benefits of this transition.”
Groups representing the ethanol industry, including the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and the American Coalition for Ethanol also spoke out in defense of E15 and to applaud progress today.
“America’s ethanol industry is committed to giving consumers greater choice at the pump by making E15 a commercial reality,” said RFA, Growth Energy, and ACE. “We will work diligently with the petroleum industry, gas retailers, automakers, and consumers to ensure E15 is used properly. But we will not stand idly by and allow some of these interests to make wild and unsubstantiated claims about ethanol and E15 in order to malign ethanol and scare consumers. The fact remains that E15 is the most tested fuel ever approved by EPA and is perfectly safe and effective for those engines approved in the waiver.”