January 21, 2011

E15: A Bold Move for America

By Growth Energy

How do you remove 8 million metric tons of Green House Gas emissions from the air in one year?

Create 136,000 jobs across the country that cannot be outsourced?

Take the equivalent of Hugo Chavez out of the business of importing oil into our country?

All with the stroke of a pen?

The Environmental Protection Agency did it today by approving a blend of up to 15 percent ethanol in gasoline (E15) for cars and light trucks made in the last decade.

The EPA’s long awaited decision came in response to Growth Energy’s Green Jobs Waiver, a petition we filed in March of 2009 to raise the “blend wall”—the artificial limit on the ethanol market—and create new market opportunity for the industry.

By moving to E15, we can take back some of the more than $300 billion we send overseas each year importing oil, and put it back into our nation’s economy—creating jobs in South Dakota and Iowa instead of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

But the payoff from greater ethanol use goes beyond our economy. It extends to our environment and, longer term, our national security. Clean burning ethanol produced from grain can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 59 percent, compared to conventional gasoline, and innovation in the ethanol industry will soon push that number even higher.

And we can do much more by removing the infrastructure barriers that prevent motorists from having an alternative to oil – two-thirds of which comes from overseas – at the pump.

Long term, an investment in infrastructure like blender pumps and Flex Fuel Vehicles would accelerate the use of alternatives and put the power to choose back in the hands of the consumer. Growth Energy’s Fueling Freedom plan calls for the build out of 200,000 blender pumps and 120 million Flex Fuel Vehicles. This investment would create permanent access to the fuel market and level the playing field for all liquid transportation fuels.

There is no question that today’s decision is a good decision, but it is only the beginning. If we truly want to realize our energy security and environmental goals, we need to tear down the blend wall completely and let ethanol compete with oil.

In an open and free market, American ethanol can compete, and win, over foreign oil.

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