June 15, 2012 was a big day for the renewable fuels industry in Iowa. It was the 34th anniversary of the first gallon of commercial E10 being sold, the 10th Anniversary of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) and E15 is ready to go in Iowa following a federal EPA announcement that the final regulatory hurdles had been cleared.
I was on hand for the press conference and watched the Iowa Ethanol Day Declaration being signed. “I, Terry E. Brandstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby proclaim today, June 15, 2012, as Iowa Ethanol Day.”
A side note. When I first began to drive my dad took me to the gas station to teach me how to pump gas and he said, “We use ethanol.” So I used ethanol until I moved to Texas. My first gas station stop in Dallas I couldn’t find the ethanol so I went inside to ask. “We don’t have ethanol,” was the response. I was shocked – I thought all gas had ethanol. We might not be there yet, but we’re on our way.
Prior to signing the declaration, Brandstad spoke about how far ethanol has come in both Iowa and the U.S. He also talked about how oil companies continue to be resistant to blending renewable fuels and will continue to fight against the industry. This holds true for E15, where oil industry barriers remain.
“Not surprisingly, the oil industry has used its fuel distribution monopoly to keep the blendstock for E15 out of Iowa, said Monte Shaw, Executive Director of IRFA. “Some in our industry are attempting to bypass the oil system in order to bring the proper blendstock into Iowa, but it’s too soon to know if that will prove feasible. Clearly, the oil industry isn’t interested in consumer choice or lower cost fuel.”
You can listen to Gov. Brandstad’s remarks along with the reading of the Iowa Ethanol Day Declaration here: Iowa Ethanol Day Declaration