Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) told a recent ethanol summit in his state that with new ethanol plants coming on line at a rapid pace, the use of ethanol needs to grow or we could soon end up producing a surplus of ethanol.
According to a story in the Farm & Ranch Guide by reporter Dale Hildebrant, Dorgan said, “Our future is not in a 90-10 blend. If it’s only a 10 percent ethanol blend we are going to produce more than we need and we are going to run into a problem here. We need to address how do you put a higher blend into these vehicles that Detroit has made and is going to make, so we can consume a substantial amount of additional renewable fuels and displace that which we need to bring in from foreign sources of oil.”
Dorgan also noted that more consumer education is needed showing that using ethanol won’t harm a vehicle’s engine.
But the auto industry has two concerns they need to address: the first is developing engines that burn higher blends of ethanol more efficiently; and then to address the liability issue for those not owning flex-fuel vehicles, but still desire to burn ethanol blends greater than 10 percent. That liability problem is what is preventing some service stations from offering higher blends, but Dorgan said rewriting liability waiver legislation would be difficult to do.