EPA Greenlights Ethanol Increase in Fuel Blend

WASHINGTON, DC – Growth Energy today embraced as an “important first step” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision to raise the blend wall from E10 to E15 for 2007 and newer vehicles, in response to Growth Energy’s Green Jobs petition. However, the coalition of U.S. ethanol supporters said much more must be done to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, create jobs here in the United States and improve our environment.

Today’s decision will apply to more than 42 million vehicles – nearly 20 percent of the current fleet of passenger cars and light-duty trucks in the U.S., all 2007 and newer. In November, after engine testing on those models is completed, EPA is expected to decide whether to approve E15 for vehicles 2001 to 2006. Approval of those 86 million cars and trucks would mean that E15 would be allowed in more than half of the total passenger cars and light-duty trucks on the road today.

The existing E10 standard – which permits up to 10 percent ethanol blended into fuel – was set in the 1970s to help spur the growth of a domestic, renewable fuels industry in answer to America’s first major oil crisis, engineered by OPEC. In March 2009, Growth Energy filed a petition with EPA to permit the raising of that regulatory cap on the ethanol blend from 10 percent to 15 percent.

“Today’s approval of E15 for newer vehicles is the first crack in the blend wall in more than 30 years, and proves what was laid out in Growth Energy’s Green Jobs Waiver – that E15 is a good fuel for American motorists. And while this is an important first step, there are many more steps we can take toward strengthening our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, creating jobs here in the United States and improving our environment,” Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, said.

“Extensive testing from government, industry and academia proves there is no reason to limit E15 to only 2007 and newer vehicles. We urge the EPA to quickly follow today’s announcement with the approval of E15 for vehicles 2001-2006 and begin testing for legacy vehicles, so that the American people can choose a blend of fuel that is proven to be better for our economy, our security and our environment.”

Today’s modern ethanol industry supports U.S. jobs by producing a renewable, domestic fuel that is at least 59 percent cleaner than conventional gasoline. By allowing E15 as an option on the market, the U.S. could create 136,000 new jobs, decrease carbon emissions equivalent to removing 1.35 million vehicles from American roads, displace as much as 7 billion gallons of gasoline from imported oil and expand the market-demand necessary to help make cellulosic ethanol commercially viable.

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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.