Support Building for Increased Ethanol Blend

Cindy Zimmerman

Go E 13The deadline for submitting comments to the Environmental Protection Agency period on the Green Jobs Waiver to allow up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) blends in gasoline has arrived.

Growth Energy officials believe support for the proposal has grown since it was submitted by the industry in February, with President Obama, administration officials, governors, members of Congress, state and local elected officials and groups across the country all going on record in support of increasing the blend to E15.

MGAJust last week, ten Midwestern governors wrote to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson requesting that ethanol blending levels be increased to 15 percent. “Increasing the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline is an important step that will have dramatic, positive effects on advancement of the renewable fuels industry,” said South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds. “In addition to economic benefits, increased use of ethanol and biofuels will lead to greater energy independence by utilizing homegrown commodities, materials and technologies.”

Earlier this month President Barack Obama said, “We want to be able to compete with countries like Brazil that now are running basically their entire automobile fleet on biofuels. If Brazil can do it, there’s no reason why America can’t do it.” During a stop in Iowa last month, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “I don’t want to prejudge what they’re going to find, but if the existing automobile fleet can handle 15 percent, I would say let’s make that a target and go to 15 percent.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that she supported a higher ethanol-to-gasoline blend rate as a way to reduce reliance on petroleum imports and that, “It seems to me we should be able to do that.” In addition, a bi-partisan group of 28 Congressional representatives wrote a letter supporting the waiver. “Allowing use of ethanol blends up to E-15 will help us preserve and enhance infrastructure that is critical to the timely development of cellulosic ethanol and advanced biofuels, have significant environmental benefits, foster our nation’s energy independence, create thousands of jobs, and stimulate economic development in communities across the nation,” they wrote. “According to one estimate, allowing blending up to E-15 has the potential to create at least 135,000 jobs.”

Members of the ethanol industry are encouraged to get comments in to EPA on the importance of the Green Jobs Waiver before the close of the business day on July 20. For more information, go to

blends, Ethanol, Government, Growth Energy