6.24.2014 | printed in the Spring 2014 issue of VITAL magazine
24 years after the Clean Air Act was enacted …
9 years after we first heard about the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)…
5 years after Growth Energy submitted the E15 Green Jobs Waiver …
The first domino has fallen in overcoming the ethanol blend wall.
When successful major gasoline retailer, MAPCO Express, announced their decision to offer E15 to consumers, a new era for fuel began. This era will finally give consumers the power to choose their fuel blend. The path to gaining greater market access for homegrown ethanol has not been short or easy. And, let me assure you, this is only just the beginning.
With MAPCO’s announcement, the first domino fell. The gasoline blend containing 15 percent ethanol will offer consumers a more affordable and higher octane fuel than regular unleaded gasoline. As motorists save money and learn about the reliability and high performance aspects of E15, I believe retailers across the country will quickly adopt E15 and long term, look to even higher blends of ethanol. But, we’re not just going to sit back and wait for retailers to realize this. POET and Growth Energy are working hard to get the truth to the public and educating retailers on the benefits of E15 for their market and their consumers.
A big part of this education can be found on the tracks of one of the most popular sports in America. Already, NASCAR has run more than five million miles on Sunoco Green E15, a fuel blend with 15 percent ethanol. Without fail, this fuel blend has lived up to the challenge in this high performance arena. We know that this blend of fuel is not only good for racecar drivers, but it’s good for motorists, retailers, farmers, the environment and our energy security. It’s only a matter of time before many more dominoes will fall.
As retailers get on board with E15, the growth will create new demand for the ethanol industry and America’s farmers. It will also open markets for cellulosic ethanol. And, that’s just here in the U.S. It’s even bigger than that.
As ethanol grows, so does agriculture. Growing demand for corn helps keeps prices at a sustainable level for farmers. This incentivizes farmers in the U.S. and throughout the world. It is creating opportunities for developing countries to produce their own crops at a profit – for food and fuel. In the last eight years, Ethiopia’s GDP is up more than five times what it had been for more than 30 years of stagnation mostly due to commodity prices. This new era for ethanol will also help to clean our air and decrease our reliance on foreign oil. It’s an era that we can be proud of and will improve the world for our kids and grandkids.
It has taken the time and effort of many to get the ethanol market to where it is today. And it will take the collective efforts of ethanol and agriculture to reach its full potential. And I can assure you, we won’t rest until the last domino has fallen.
Other Stories in this collection:
In Sight: A New Era
by Jeff Broin, Executive Chairman and Founder of POET