South Dakota corn farmers recently celebrated a big win with President Trump’s announcement on October 9 that he has approved making E-15 available all year long.
“This is huge. Farmers won, the environment won and consumers won. It’s a win, win, win,” says Lisa Richardson, South Dakota Corn Growers Association (SDCGA) Executive Director. “This is an obstacle we’ve been working on trying to get approval since 2007, during the Bush administration.”
Year-round blending of E-15 will require an additional two billion tons of corn each year, but it will take time to increase ethanol production.
“It will take time to implement over the next three to four years,” Richardson adds. “At the end of the day, it allows for more ethanol usage in the U.S.”
Richardson shared that approval has been a long time coming. The SDCGA and its allies have been working tirelessly on behalf of corn farmers to get the U.S. car fleet ready, all while battling big oil.
“Every vehicle manufactured after 2007 is capable of using E-15,” says Richardson. “The only group who opposed it was the oil industry.”
Utilizing ethanol rather than oil for fuel will also mean cleaner air because of less smog.
Consumers will see a three to nine cent savings per gallon on gas. How quickly gas prices drop depends on how soon major retailers embrace selling E-15.
“Anytime economics come into play, it’s huge,” Richardson says. “With all the uncertainty in trade, this announcement is a very welcomed, exciting win for the American consumer, farmer and ethanol industry.”
Getting approval from the administration is just the first step, according to Richardson. The battle is still underway. The SDCGA will be helping to write comments on how the rule is actually written, and the hope is that it will cover all ethanol blends above E-10.
“We’ll be working on behalf of farmers to do legal analysis of what this rule will look like, and fighting litigation by big oil,” Richardson says.
Now that E-15 has received a presidential nod, the next political goal for the SDCGA is helping wrap up the Farm Bill.