Washington, DC – Growth Energy today congratulated the State of Kansas in joining the growing list of voices calling on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to raise the decades-old, arbitrary limit on the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline. The Kansas Legislature recently adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 1610 (SCR 1610), which urges the EPA to authorize the use of higher blends of ethanol in non-flex fuel vehicles. Similar state legislative resolutions have been passed in Indiana, Iowa and South Dakota.
Originally introduced by Senator Mark Taddiken (R-Clifton) in late February, the resolution passed unanimously in the Kansas Senate (39-0) on March 18. On April 3, the Kansas House of Representatives approved SCR 1610 by a vote of 110-12. The Kansas Association of Ethanol Processors, Kansas Department of Agriculture and Kansas Farm Bureau testified in favor of the resolution. Considerable support also came from the Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Stores, the Kansas Cooperative Council, House Speaker Mike O’Neal (R-Hutchinson) and House Agriculture Chairman Larry Powell (R-Garden City).
In signing the resolution, state legislators resolved that “… we strongly support and urge the prompt authorization and implementation by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and other appropriate federal agencies, of the use of higher levels of ethanol blends in non-flex fuel vehicles …”
SCR 1610 noted Kansas’ 20-year history of ethanol support and cited the significant economic benefits that would come as a result of increased ethanol production. Growth Energy released a study on March 4 showing that increasing the ethanol blend in the nation’s gasoline supply from 10 to 15 percent could create and support 136,101 new jobs and inject $24.4 billion into the American economy annually.
On March 6, Growth Energy submitted a Green Jobs Waiver asking the EPA to allow gasoline blended with as much as 15 percent ethanol (E15). On April 21, the EPA began accepting public comment on the waiver application submitted by Growth Energy. A rule that dates back to the 1970s arbitrarily caps at 10 percent (E10) the amount of ethanol that can be blended with gasoline.
Kansas Association of Ethanol Processors Chairman Steve McNinch, a Growth Energy Board Member, stated, “We applaud the 149 members of the Kansas Legislature for urging the EPA to act now to help put Americans back to work and to take this critical step toward energy independence.”
Support for Growth Energy’s Green Jobs Waiver spans governors, Members of Congress, and additional groups across the country. In a March 6 letter to President Obama, Kansas’ own secretary of agriculture, Adrian Polansky, joined other Midwest secretaries of agriculture in supporting higher blends; in the letter, the Midwest secretaries wrote:
“For more than 30 years, ethanol has had a positive impact on our economy. Clean, affordable, domestically produced ethanol has enhanced America’s economy through job growth, increased domestic production and a larger tax base. In 2007 alone, the ethanol industry created more than 200,000 American jobs that cannot be exported or outsourced, while contributing $47.6 billion to our GDP and generating $4.6 billion in tax revenues.“
The EPA has up to 270 days to act on Growth Energy’s waiver request. To learn more about how to submit comments to the EPA, visit www.GoE15.com.
About Growth Energy
Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and growing America’s economy through cleaner, greener energy. Growth Energy members recognize America needs a new ethanol approach. Through smart policy reform and a proactive grassroots campaign, Growth Energy promotes reducing greenhouse gas emissions, expanding the use of ethanol in gasoline, decreasing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating American jobs at home. More information can be found at GrowthEnergy.org.