Farm Bureau applauds EPA’s E-15 approval for 2001 and newer vehicles

Illinois Farm Bureau representatives welcomed the recent announcement by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it has approved a higher blend of ethanol in gasoline for use in cars and trucks produced since 2001.
The ruling would allow up to a 15 percent ethanol blend (E-15) for use in cars and pickups, which is an increase from the previously allowed 10 percent blend. An October 2010 EPA ruling approved E-15 for vehicles made since 2007, but held back on approval for 2001 and newer vehicles, pending additional testing. The recent announcement means nearly two out of three vehicles on the road today are approved to use E-15.
"This announcement is an excellent step toward increased ethanol production and usage in the United States," said Illinois Farm Bureau President Philip Nelson.
"A bigger market for ethanol means more American jobs, a better environment and improved national security as we begin to move away from dependence on foreign petroleum," Nelson said.
There are estimates that moving to E15 will create more than 136,000 new jobs in the U.S.; inject $24.4 billion into the nation's economy; avoid the importation of almost seven billion gallons of gasoline each year; and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by as much as 59 percent. United States Department of Agriculture estimates also point to 20-to-35-cent-per-gallon higher gasoline prices without ethanol.
"Due to overseas growth, energy supplies worldwide are under increased pressure," said Illinois Farm Bureau senior economist Mike Doherty. "With the specter of $100-plus-per-barrel oil, and a return to high gasoline prices, this approval of domestic fuel production and consumption makes economic sense for the U.S.," Doherty said.
The Renewable Fuels Association says E-15 could be available commercially on a limited basis as soon as the fall of 2011.

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