E15 is the First Step in a Long Road

E15 is the First Step in a Long Road

The Urban Air Initiative (UAI) commends the Trump Administration for its announced commitment to remove the regulatory restriction on higher ethanol blends. While this is a win for consumers who will have more choice at the pump, there are still unnecessary and often illegal barriers limiting ethanol that still need to be addressed.

“This President ran largely on a platform of deregulation and opening domestic markets and opportunities” said UAI President David VanderGriend. “Giving consumers access to year round, clean burning, low cost ethanol blends at increasing volumes is an important first step. Recognizing and removing a range of other barriers to allow for even more consumer choice is the next step in a long road to better health, stimulating the rural economy, and energy security.”

The announcement that a cleaner burning higher octane fuel containing 15% ethanol would finally be allowed to be sold year round will, according to industry analysts, provide some stimulus to ethanol demand but not enough to help the farm economy that is feeling the effects of the trade wars and increased global competition. The opportunity to double the current ethanol market and raise corn prices lies in the use of much higher blends, says VanderGriend. He adds that the highly toxic components used by the petroleum industry can be replaced with ethanol, protecting public health and reducing oil imports.

“We look forward to working with the Administration and the EPA to use the best available science that will show ethanol is a far superior fuel additive to the toxics in gasoline and can provide an efficient, cost effective fuel choice. If 15% ethanol is good, imagine what blends of 25 or 30 percent or more can do to clean up gasoline and save lives, said VanderGriend.” To access these higher blends, UAI will continue its technical focus of getting the vehicle emissions model known as MOVES updated along with ethanol’s life-cycle analysis. UAI is also working to stop limitations on ethanol blends.