As Deadline Looms, Support for 15 Percent Ethanol Blend Builds

WASHINGTON – With one week remaining in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) public comment period on Growth Energy’s Green Jobs Waiver asking the EPA to allow gasoline blended with as much as 15 percent ethanol (E15), the support for higher blends of ethanol continues to build. Since February, President Obama, Administration officials, governors, Members of Congress, state and local elected officials and groups across the country have all come out in support of increasing the blend to E15.

Earlier this month President Barack Obama said, “We want to be able to compete with countries like Brazil that now are running basically their entire automobile fleet on biofuels. If Brazil can do it, there’s no reason why America can’t do it.”

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said that she supported a higher ethanol-to-gasoline blend rate as a way to reduce reliance on petroleum imports and that, “It seems to me we should be able to do that.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, “We can, we believe, move fairly quickly to move the blend rate to 12 or 13 percent in the interim.” And went on to add that it could eventually be boosted to 15 percent to 20 percent.

Following is a sample of additional quotes from others who have voiced their approval of America’s best renewable fuel:

“I don't want to prejudge what they're going to find, but if the existing automobile fleet can handle 15 percent, I would say let's make that a target and go to 15 percent.”
Energy Secretary Steven Chu

“Lifting that intermediate blends is what we have to do to maximize domestic biofuels undercutting our addiction to oil…Our national labs have been testing for immediate blends in our cars for more than a year and the intermediate results are already out and this is a commercial issue, not a technical issue.”
Former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy Andy Karsner

“The people of Iowa know that increasing the amount of ethanol that can be blended into our nation’s fuel supply will create green jobs, environmental benefit and help eliminate our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.”
Governor Chet Culver (D-IA)

“It is very important that we have a sustained effort over time to build up biofuels if we truly want a viable, domestic supply of transportation fuel.”
Governor John Hoeven (R-ND)

“This is a practical move in the right direction. E15 will create thousands of new jobs and increase our tax base while decreasing our dependence for foreign oil. If we are serious about energy independence, EPA needs to act quickly and rule E15 viable for use.”
Governor Michael Rounds (R-SD)

“As the Governor of Indiana, I strongly support the initiative to increase the base fuel blend for ethanol from 10 percent to 15 percent … I support an increase of the base fuel blend cap as a measure to open markets to biofuels, allow attainment of renewable fuel standard and decrease our dependency on foreign energy sources.”
Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN)

“I commend the ethanol companies for submitting this waiver request and hope EPA will move forward expeditiously with a positive ruling. This waiver is necessary to open ethanol markets and enable us to stay on a path towards decreasing the use of petroleum-based fuels and increasing the use of alternative biofuels produced from domestic resources.”
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)

“Our future is not in a 90-10 blend. If it’s only a 10 percent ethanol blend we are going to produce more than we need and we are going to run into a problem here. We need to address how do you put a higher blend into these vehicles that Detroit has made and is going to make, so we can consume a substantial amount of additional renewable fuels and displace that which we need to bring in from foreign sources of oil.”
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

“We need to lessen our dependence on foreign sources of oil by developing alternatives to petroleum-based fuels… Biofuels offer the best near-term solution to accomplishing that goal and increasing production of ethanol and biodiesel need to be at the heart of our energy policy.”
Senator Tim Johnson (D – SD)

“[The Environmental Protection Agency] needs to raise the amount of ethanol required in regular gasoline to 12 percent or 13 percent with an eventual boost to 15 to 20 percent.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D – MN)

“Higher blends of ethanol can help solve two of the challenges facing our nation: our overdependence on imported oil and the need to expand the use of renewable fuels. Renewable fuels production continues to be an important economic engine for rural America, and moving to higher blends of ethanol is absolutely necessary to keep this industry growing and moving toward advanced biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol.”
Senator John Thune (R-SD)

“Approval of the application for blends up to E-15 will not only help us lesson our dependence on foreign oil, but it also has the potential to create 135,000 jobs. As a Member of Congress representing a district where ethanol is produced, I can attest to the fact that the jobs already created by the industry are true assets to rural communities.”
Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-09)

“There has been extensive university research conducted across the country that has pointed to the added benefits of higher blends of ethanol. A research report conducted at Minnesota State University – Mankato along with the University of Minnesota, the State of Minnesota and the Renewable Fuels Association concluded that motor vehicles operating on a 20-percent blend of ethanol fuel will perform as well as those running on 10-percent ethanol or gasoline. The tests also found that using the higher E-20 ethanol blends did not cause significant problems for a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, rubbers and fuel pumps used in vehicle fuel systems.”
Representative Timothy Walz (D-MN-01)

“Allowing use of ethanol blends up to E-15 will help us preserve and enhance infrastructure that is critical to the timely development of cellulosic ethanol and advanced biofuels, have significant environmental benefits, foster our nation’s energy independence, create thousands of jobs, and stimulate economic development in communities across the nation. According to one estimate, allowing blending up to E-15 has the potential to create at least 135,000 jobs.”
Representatives Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD-At Large), John Shimkus (R-IL-19), Sam Graves (R-MO-06), Phil Hare (D-IL-17), Earl Pomeroy (D-ND-At Large), Tim Johnson (R-IL-15), Betsy Markey (D-CO-04), Leonard Boswell (D-IA-03), Bruce Braley (D-IA-01), William Delahunt (D-MA-10), Joe Donnelly (D-IN-02), Bill Foster (D-IL-14), Lee Terry (R-NE-02), Donald Manzullo (R-IL-16), Jerry Moran (R-KS-01), Aaron Schock (R-IL-18), Ed Whitfield (R-KY-01), Peter Visclosky (D-IN-01), Jerry Costello (D-IL-12), Debbie Halvorson (D-IL-11), Dan Burton (R-IN-05), Dennis Moore (D-KS-03), Dave Loebsack (D-IA-02), Steve King (R-IA-05), Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO-08), Todd Tiahrt (R-KS-04), Adrian Smith (R-NE-03) and Janice Schakowsky (D-IL-09)

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