EPA Decision on Study Clears Major Hurdle for Moving Higher Ethanol Blend to Market

The U.S. ethanol industry came one step closer today to seeing low-cost, renewable E15 sold into the American fuels marketplace with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s evaluation of the health effects of E15, as part of Growth Energy’s three-year-old petition to approve sale of the mid-level ethanol blend.

“For three years Growth Energy has led the effort to clear the way for consumers to have access to affordable, renewable and cleaner-burning fuel. Now it is up to the retailers and individual fuel companies to register for approval to sell E15. With ethanol selling an average of 76 cents a gallon cheaper than gasoline and $4 a gallon gasoline on the horizon, we’d encourage all Americans to ask their local filling station how soon they will see more-affordable E15,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

Growth Energy first filed its petition seeking federal approval to increase blends of ethanol in fuel from the current 10 percent (E10) to 15 percent (E15) in March 2009. After rigorous testing of E15’s impact on engine durability and auto emissions systems, EPA approved E15 for voluntary use in all autos and light trucks built since 2001 – which today is more than 70 percent of all vehicles on the road. Growth Energy completed a host of other ensuing regulatory measures, including significant analysis and development of data and literature on the emissions and health effects of E15, which EPA approved today.

“This is a remarkable achievement by America’s clean, renewable fuels industry as moving to E15 results in reduced dependence on foreign oil, jobs here in America and consumer savings at the pump,” Buis said. “Growth Energy commits right now to the American public that we will work with the retail industry to bring E15 to their stations. Now with a clear path forward toward a federally-approved, lower-cost fuel blend available as an antidote to the record gasoline prices we’re told to expect, we are encouraged that retailers will move quickly.”