FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Tricia Braid
February 17, 2012 (309) 557-3257
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.—America’s consumers are one step closer to expanded choices at the pump when they fill up, giving them the opportunity to save money while supporting a homegrown fuel.
Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) learned today that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved industry-submitted research studies proving that E-15, a blend of 15 percent corn-based ethanol and 85 percent conventional gasoline, meets the government’s health effects requirements for any new fuel brought to market.
The data submitted to EPA was completed and submitted by ethanol industry advocates and supported with Illinois corn checkoff dollars through an investment made by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.
“This is great news for both consumers and farmers,” said ICGA president Jeff Scates, a farmer from Shawneetown, IL. “We’ve driven head-on into the E-10 blend wall here in the U.S., and with this advancement of E-15 as a fuel choice, we’ll see half-again as much market opportunity.”
“As we near full commercial market implementation for E-15, we’re that much closer to the chance to save money at the pump, support new U.S. job creation in the ethanol industry, and decrease our dependence on foreign oil imports from unfriendly areas of the world,” Scates added.
ICGA members have worked in Washington, DC, urging EPA to approve the studies as submitted so that E-15 can advance to full market access. This step, although an important one, doesn’t actually legalize the sale of E-15 at every pump, but was among the final hurdles in that process.
“The U.S. ethanol industry is in a tight position right now, with domestic demand saturated and foreign market exports critical for keeping it afloat,” said Ray Defenbaugh, president of the Illinois Renewable Fuels Association. “It’s gratifying to see that corn farmers, the ethanol industry, and government are all together, driving towards E-15 as a way to improve our U.S. economy, benefit consumers, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.”