On Thursday, several Illinois groups joined forces to lobby the General Assembly in support of a bill to help move E-15 into the marketplace.
The Illinois Corn Growers Association together with the American Lung Association of Illinois, GROWMARK, Illinois Renewable Fuels Association, National Corn to Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) and Southern Illinois University all voiced their support for Senate Bill 52 (sponsored by Senator Sullivan) and House Bill 165 (sponsored by Representative Bradley) which would transfer state incentives for E-10 to E-15.
The legislation also proposes to reduce the incentive for E15 from 20 percent to 10 percent, offering over $130 million per year of additional revenue for the state of Illinois.
Within the bills, $15 million per year for five years would be set aside to support the ethanol industry’s investment in new technologies, processes, co-products and feedstocks. An additional $5 million per year would be saved for investment in blender pumps and infrastructure for the next five years with a final $5 million per year for five years to be used for corn production research and ethanol research at NCERC or one of the other state universities.
The remaining millions in additional revenue could hopefully be used to leverage capital projects to improve infrastructure in Illinois.
Opposition within the state from the petroleum marketers is holding the bill back. Petroleum marketers are hesitant to lose the incentive on E-10 that has mostly turned into a subsidy for their bottom line. The debate occurring in Illinois is a smaller scale of a similar debate happening in Washington, DC pitting Big Oil against ethanol interests and the Renewable Fuels Standard.
Currently the wholesale price of ethanol is 80 cents cheaper than gasoline. As E-15 moves into the marketplace, this will provide consumers the opportunity to save money at the pump on a state and national level.