Grain Bins


Ethanol as a Climate Biofuel Solution

Posted on September 14, 2023

How the SDCUC Works to Increase Education & Choice at the Pump to Maintain Ethanol as an Environmentally Friendly Fuel Solution

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the transportation sector is the largest contributor for Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. Because of this, the solution for reducing GHGs through renewable, green biofuels such as ethanol seems to be an existing and practical solution. However, new guidelines out from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) don’t address long-term gains of GHG reductions through biofuels like ethanol and instead push forward with a seemingly singular approach to reducing GHGs through electric vehicles (EVs). Under the newly released standards, up to 67% of all new vehicles manufactured and sold in 2032 will be required to be electric for auto manufacturers to be in compliance with the new guidelines.

As the EPA moves forward with these standards, the question of why ethanol as an immediate and affordable solution has been overlooked is being raised by many. According to the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, grain-based ethanol cuts greenhouse gas emissions significantly (by 44 to 52%) compared to gasoline. Similarly, researchers from Harvard, MIT, and Tufts concluded that today's corn ethanol offers an average GHG reduction of 46% versus gasoline.

So, the question remains, why isn’t the EPA backing a viable and easily accessible American solution that has a track record of not only reducing GHGs, but bolstering rural economies and providing an affordable solution that the majority of drivers can use now while saving money at the pump?

To promote education and ultimately help consumers make the choice to select corn-based ethanol at the pump, the South Dakota Corn Utilization Council (SDCUC) launched a marketing campaign that ran from January through August of 2023. This also included a website,, to share the benefits of ethanol, but dispel common misconceptions as well as give testimonials from South Dakota drivers and industry experts.

According to SDCUC President Chad Blindauer, “The campaign has done an excellent job with engaging young drivers and has delivered an outpouring of visits to the website that we were really pleased to see. More importantly, analytics show that these individuals are spending time online to read about the benefits of ethanol in relation to savings at the pump, reduction of GHGs and its inconsequential impact on the price of food.” He continues, “In addition, we were also happy to run a promotion to give away $500 in E15 to three lucky winners in June, July, and August, as well as $1,000 at Dakotafest, and the response to that was excellent. We are working hard to promote the ethanol industry and the good it is doing not only for South Dakota’s corn farmers and our communities but our climate as well.”

Ethanol Benefits

• It’s available and affordable

• 96% of all vehicles can use E10 and E15

• One of the solutions for foreign energy dependence

• Reduces GHGs significantly compared to gasoline

Congratulations to the $500 E15 2023 Fuel Your Fun Summer E15 Giveaway Winners!

Austin Herrboldt // Salem, SD

Adam Leitheiser // Estelline, SD

Reed Wehrkamp // Hartford, SD

Wendell Kuipers from Platte, SD won the $1,000 Dakotafest E15 giveaway.

“I got a new system to keep track of cars three or four years after I came to Nordstrom’s and since then, 31,813 cars have gone through our shop. Not a single one of those has come in here because they had damage from ethanol use and needed a repair. With our auto recycling business we're taking in 6,000 to 7,000 cars a year. Most of those are insurance claims that were wrecked, and we purchased from insurance companies and things like that. In three decades of getting those cars in like that, not a single one has come in with an insurance sheet that said, damaged by ethanol. So, I would think that if it were going to be a big problem for them that we would have seen some with damage already and we haven’t.”

Russ Evans, Master Mechanic Nordstrom’s Automotive Inc. and co-host of the nationally syndicated Under the Hood Show.

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