Blending higher amounts of ethanol into our transportation fuel is a necessary step to meeting American energy independence, improving our environment and creating jobs at home.
For years, federal regulation has mandated that all fuel be at least 90 percent gasoline – two-thirds of which is derived from imported oil. This 10 percent cap on the ethanol market restricts the development and technological advances of ethanol and other advanced biofuels. Ultimately, limiting ethanol to a maximum 10 percent of blended fuel prevents the nation from complying with the historic Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) enacted in the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act.
The Green Jobs Waiver
On March 6, 2009 Growth Energy submitted its Green Jobs Waiver to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, seeking a 15-percent blend of ethanol in the fuel supply. Growth Energy filed the waiver in order to provide consumers with an alternative to gasoline from oil; ethanol is a domestically-produced renewable fuel that is far cleaner than gasoline. We asked for that blend to be raised to up to 15 percent because scientific and academic studies overwhelmingly support the use of E15 in our fuel.
By raising the “blend wall” from E10 to E15, the Growth Energy Green Jobs Waiver will accelerate the use of renewable fuel made in the United States – thereby increasing energy security, creating jobs for Americans, reducing fuel costs for everyday Americans, and improving the environment by displacing conventional gasoline with low-carbon ethanol.
Moving to E15 has many benefits. Approval of the Green Jobs Waiver will:
- Create Jobs in the U.S. According to a recent study by the Windmill Group, moving to E15 will create more than 136,000 new green-collar jobs across America.
- Strengthen our economy. Every year we pay around $300 billion annually – the equivalent of a thousand-dollar-a-person tribute—to foreign countries for oil. Moving to E15 will inject $24.4 billion into the U.S. economy and help keep more U.S. money within our own borders.
- Reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Our continued dependence on foreign oil threatens our economic future. Based on 2009 U.S. gasoline consumption, increasing the blend level from E10 to E15 could avoid the importation of almost seven billion gallons of gasoline per year.
- Clean our Skies. Grain ethanol can reduce GHG emissions by as much as 59 percent relative to gasoline and cellulosic ethanol is a reduction of more than 100 percent. Approval of the waiver will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional eight million tons per year.
With EPA’s approval of higher blends of ethanol, we can now begin to create a bigger market for American ethanol that creates American jobs, reduces our dependence on foreign oil, improves our environment and strengthens our national security. Raising the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline will give American consumers greater access to a fuel that can help us achieve America’s energy independence goals.