Ethanol industry groups are close to clearing the final hurdle to make E15 available after three years of work. According to the National Corn Growers Association, 99 ethanol producers have banded together to fund a nationwide fuel survey which will satisfy the final requirement of the partial E15 waiver by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In the statement, Garry Niemeyer, president, says the group "applauds the ethanol industry for this momentous accomplishment. We have long understood the economic, environmental and national security benefits of this renewable, domestic fuel. Finally, the hard work invested in pushing to increase these benefits through increased ethanol usage can come to fruition."
The ethanol producers stepped up to support the survey even though only a handful of the 160,000 gas stations that will participate are owned by the group.
"Ethanol producers have taken on a proactive role in this process and American consumers will benefit," says Niemeyer. "Ethanol has the capacity to lower staggering prices at the pump while also reducing pollution. With the survey in place, E15 is set for commercial sale as laid out by the EPA."
Groups representing the ethanol industry, including the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and the American Coalition for Ethanol also spoke out in defense of E15 and to applaud progress today.
"America's ethanol industry is committed to giving consumers greater choice at the pump by making E15 a commercial reality," said RFA, Growth Energy, and ACE. "We will work diligently with the petroleum industry, gas retailers, automakers, and consumers to ensure E15 is used properly. But we will not stand idly by and allow some of these interests to make wild and unsubstantiated claims about ethanol and E15 in order to malign ethanol and scare consumers. The fact remains that E15 is the most tested fuel ever approved by EPA and is perfectly safe and effective for those engines approved in the waiver."
Whether the auto industry is ready or not will depend on a lot of factors, but there are some interesting early indicators.