On March 6, 2009 Growth Energy submitted a waiver to the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
This Green Jobs Waiver petitions the EPA to lift the arbitrary regulatory cap on ethanol from a 10 percent blend of ethanol to a 15 percent blend of ethanol in our gas supply. Blending higher percentages of ethanol into our gas is a step we can take right now to create American jobs, increase our energy independence, and improve our environment. It will also ensure a market for the emerging cellulosic ethanol industry.
Background: Current Status of Ethanol in Our Fuel Supply
- Federal regulations restricting the ethanol blend to E10 date back to the 1970s.
- Ethanol producers have hit the E10 cap, producing more ethanol than can be used under current restrictions. This prevents compliance with the Renewable Fuel Standard and threatens to block research and development into cellulosic and future generations of biofuels.
- In 2007, Congress mandated the use of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022.
- Capital investment in the development of cellulosic ethanol is stalled because of the cap on the ethanol market. Without expanding the market for ethanol, investment in cellulosic has been choked off.
The Green Jobs Waiver
- On March 6, 2009, Growth Energy submitted its Green Jobs Waiver to the EPA to increase the arbitrary limit that had mandated that Americans use fuel that is 90 percent gasoline – despite the capacity to produce domestic, renewable, cleaner-burning ethanol to displace that gasoline.
- The Green Jobs Waiver was accompanied by more supporting academic, government and third-party research than any of the 11 previous waivers approved by EPA.
- Growth Energy did not ask for a mandate on E15; rather the waiver asks EPA to remove the arbitrary limit that is currently placed on ethanol to provide consumers with access to higher levels of ethanol.
- The EPA approved the Green Jobs Waiver for vehicles 2001-2006 in January and on vehicles 2007 and newer last October. This covers all vehicles made in the last decade, more than 54 percent of the American vehicle fleet.
E15 Fact: We will grow our economy and create American jobs by moving to E15
- More than 136,000 new green-collar jobs will be created nationwide by moving to E15.
- Ethanol production revitalizes rural communities by investing in the communities and creating high-paying jobs that cannot be outsourced.
- Ethanol production reinvests money in the U.S. economy instead of sending dollars and jobs overseas. We’ll be creating jobs in Des Moines rather than Abu Dhabi, and Sioux Falls rather than Saudi Arabia.
E15 Fact: We will achieve energy independence sooner with E15
- By using E10 in much of its fuel today, the U.S. has reduced its dependence on foreign oil by billions of gallons each year. Increasing the blend level from E10 to E15 will avoid the importation of the foreign oil needed to produce as much as seven billion gallons of gasoline.
- According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S. imports 12 million barrels of oil per day. Military and national security officials have warned that much of that oil comes from countries that are hostile to American values and interests. Ethanol can replace more of that oil, helping strengthen national security.
E15 Fact: We will make our gasoline cleaner and greener with E15
- Peer-reviewed research published in Yale University’s Journal of Industrial Ecology found that grain ethanol has 59 percent fewer GHG’s in the Life Cycle Analysis compared to conventional gasoline.
- According to EPA, the commercialization of advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol promises to reduce GHG emissions by over 100 percent relative to gasoline.
- A full move to E15 will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional eight million tons per year – the equivalent of taking more than 1.35 million vehicles off the road.