Growth Energy and 52 ethanol manufacturers petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month to raise the maximum blend level for ethanol in gasoline to as much as 15 percent. Starting April 21st, the EPA is soliciting comments on the waiver up until May 19th (30 days). The EPA then has 270 days to consider the waiver and make a determination.
A podcast reported by Cindy Zimmerman of Domestic Fuel blog titled "Drive Toward Higher Blends in High Gear" features comments from RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen who concludes:
We are approaching a critical crossroads for the ethanol industry. One road leads to 36 billion gallons of ethanol and more production from cellulosic feedstocks, higher level blends, E85, and an incredibly bright future for ethanol as a low carbon fuel source. Another road takes us to division and failure, casting ethanol eternally as merely a blend component forfeiting the opportunity to expand into cellulosic and potentially marking ethanol as a blip in the history of motor fuels as the nation converts to electric vehicles. The road we choose is up to us.
As Chairman of the Board of Growth Energy, General Wesley Clark is committed to the issue primarily for energy independence and national security. He has become a leading advocate for pushing the blend wall upward from the current "arbitrary" 10% to a scientifically supportable 15%. In a recent article of BIOMASS magazine:
Clark stressed the necessity for the continued advancement of domestically-produced renewable fuels and said that an increase in blending limits for ethanol is vital in order to move the renewable fuels industry forward. “The ethanol industry has plateaued at 10 percent,” he said. “Let’s get this blend wall cap lifted from E10 to E15. It’s good for America.” According to Clark, the waiver request was accompanied by scientific evidence proving that fueling the nation’s automobiles with E15 will not detrimentally affect their performance.
Tom Buis, new CEO for Growth Energy wrote an article titled "Advocating for a Higher Blend" in this month's issue of Ethanol Producers magazine:
Growth Energy and more than 50 other companies submitted a Green Jobs Waiver to the U.S. EPA asking to lift the decades-old arbitrary cap that limits ethanol to 10 percent in a gallon of gas. Shortly afterward, many voices endorsed the move to a higher blend, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, several members of Congress and representatives from diverse organizations. These leaders understand that lifting the cap on ethanol to up to 15 percent will create green-collar jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Below is the text of an email sent out by Growth Energy to solicit comments to be sent to the EPA on the proposed waiver. It lays out specific steps anyone can use to voice their support of the waiver.
Dear eTeam Member,
On March 6, 2009, Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers requested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) increase ethanol blend levels in gasoline up to 15 percent (E15).
This is THE most important issue facing the ethanol industry today. Increasing blend levels from 10 to 15 percent will create more than 136,000 new green-collar jobs, generate $24.4 billion for the U.S. economy, displace seven billion gallons of imported gasoline each year, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 20 million tons per year.
WE NEED YOUR VOICE!
Yesterday was the first day of a 30-day public comment period begins. During this time, Growth Energy needs YOUR help to achieve our goal of 20,000 favorable submissions to the EPA supporting the move to E15.
Your support of homegrown ethanol is needed now more than ever. We only have 30 days to make ourselves heard. We have created some talking points to help make commenting easier.
Email Comments to the EPA
The easiest way to make your opinion and voice heard by the EPA is to email comments directly. Click here to submit comments online via email at GrowthEnergy.org. It only takes a few minutes and will be submitted directly to the EPA for review. You can also refer your friends and family directly to our website to submit comments as well.
Mailing & Reporting Procedures
The EPA also accepts written comments through the mail. In an effort to efficiently submit and track comments to the EPA, please perform the following procedures for mailing in comments and reporting the quantity of comments back to the eTeam Leader.
Sending in Handwritten & Typed Comments
Upon receipt of handwritten comments or typed letters, please make three (3) copies.
• Please ensure that the docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0211 is included on the letter.
• Mail two (2) copies to:
Air and Radiation Docket
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0211
Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
• Mail one (1) copy to:
Attn: E15 Waiver Comments
Growth Energy – Midwest Office
17220 Wright Street, Suite 150
Omaha, NE 68130
technorati emissions, electricity, biofuels, bioenergy, bioproducts