WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Growth Energy members will attend a renewable energy roundtable with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson at the REG Newton Biorefinery in Newton, Iowa to discuss how the ethanol industry will grow to meet U.S. goals for energy independence and create green jobs in rural America that cannot be outsourced.
Growth Energy members participating in the roundtable include Growth Energy Chairman and POET CEO Jeff Broin, Green Plains Renewable Energy CEO Todd Becker, Absolute Energy President and CEO Rick Schwark, and POET Biorefining – Coon Rapids General Manager Owen Shunkwiler.
“We commend Secretary Vilsack and Administrator Jackson for taking the time to sit down with the ethanol industry and discuss our nation’s renewable energy strategy. Increasing access to clean, homegrown renewable fuels will clean our skies, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower prices at the filling station,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis. “With gas prices skyrocketing past $4 a gallon and conflict in the Middle East still unresolved, the U.S. ethanol industry stands ready to work with the USDA and EPA to promote the use of renewable energy to keep more dollars in the American economy and strengthen our national security.”
President Obama has pledged to reduce our net imports of oil by one-third by 2025. The production of cleaner, domestically-produced fuels will help the President meet these goals.
In a landmark regulatory decision this year, the EPA approved E15 for all vehicles built in the last decade – about 151 million cars, or 67 percent of the country’s vehicles, which together consume 75 percent of the country’s fuel. Moving to E15 is a step we can take today to strengthen our national security, our economy and our environment. According to various studies, going to E15 from E10 would create 136,000 American jobs, cut emissions equivalent to taking 1.35 million cars from the road, and displace as much as 7 billion gallons of gasoline refined from foreign oil.
In addition, USDA recently announced a funding program to help build the infrastructure needed to deliver higher level blends of ethanol to consumers at the gas station. The program will help install up to 10,000 Flex Fuel pumps across the nation over the next five years. The installation of Flex Fuel pumps is about giving the consumer a choice, a choice that is currently made for them by requiring them to put at least 90 percent regular gasoline in their car.
Last year, Growth Energy proposed their Fueling Freedom plan, which would reform ethanol tax provisions to increase the number of Flex Fuel vehicles on the road and Flex Pumps at filling stations, in order to allow open access to the fuel market. Increasing the number of FFVs on the road and Flex Fuel pumps at gas stations will give consumers an opportunity to choose their fuel and help our nation meet our energy independence goals outlined by the Renewable Fuel Standard.
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.