E15 clears final hurdle

Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency approved the sale of E15 (a blend of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline) by fuel retailers. This is the final step in what has been a very long and drawn-out process of getting the ethanol blend into the marketplace.

A few things need to be understood about this new blend. First, E15 is simply a choice for fuel consumers owning a car or light truck 2001 or newer, not a mandate as some anti-renewable fuel folks have written.

Secondly, E15 is perfectly safe for the vehicles listed above, as it is the most tested fuel in history with completely positive results. E15 is not only safe, but it is also cleaner burning as ethanol reduces greenhouse-gas emissions by 52% when compared to conventional gasoline according to the EPA.

Next, E15 will undoubtedly save consumers money at the pump. A recent university study shows that Midwestern drivers saved $1.69/gallon during 2011 due to American ethanol. And with E15 being eligible for 62% of America’s auto fleet, which consumes 80% of the overall fuel sold, consumers will immediately notice a fuels savings.

“Domestic ethanol is already saving families around $1,200 per year at the pump, and giving consumers access to E15 will provide an even greater financial savings,” said Mark Gross, Bridgewater farmer and president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association.

Last but not least, increasing the use of homegrown, domestic biofuels is a matter of national energy security. No matter your opinion on oil, it is a finite resource that has been costly. Whenever we can become less dependent on oil from countries that despise American values, it is a move in the right direction.

For more information on E15, check out http://www.e15fuel.org/

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