Year-Round E15, A Renewable Energy Win for Colorado





May 31, 2019 – Presidents of Colorado Corn Growers Association (CCGA), Colorado Administrative Committee (CCAC) and Vice President of Front Range Ethanol issued statements regarding the final rule by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) allowing retailers to sell gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15) year-round. This rule is a win for consumers driving 2001 and newer vehicles, a win for the environment, and a win for the grain corn and ethanol industries in Colorado.

“Year-round sales of E15 is overdue,” stated CCGA President Dave Eckhardt, a farmer from Peckham, Colorado. “For years CCGA has advocated for uninterrupted access to this lower-carbon, higher octane, homegrown fuel. We expect EPA will continue to make regulatory changes to modify the renewable identification number (RIN) system bringing transparency to the market and deterring price manipulation.”

As the most widely tested fuel on the market, over four billion miles have been driven on E15. Retailers can use the existing infrastructure at the pump, giving consumers a higher-octane fuel (better for engines) that burns cleaner (fewer tailpipe emissions) and is usually sold three to ten cents under regular unleaded gasoline.

“E15 is produced from grain corn grown right here in Colorado, yet this renewable energy source is often ignored or left out of the clean energy conversations,” said CCAC President Troy Schneider, a farmer from Cope, Colorado.

“Over four billion miles have been driven on E15 and more than 90% of vehicles on the road today are approved for this fuel. Eliminating these outdated restrictions gives retailers and consumers the choice they deserve all year long.”

Dan Sanders, Vice President of Front Range Energy, an ethanol production facility in Windsor, Colorado had similar comments, “Today is a great day for Colorado consumers, our corn farmers, and ethanol producers. Consumers now have a less expensive, cleaner, renewable fuel choice all year long. E15 will unleash new demand for our corn farmers and billions of gallons of new demand for ethanol producers. I look forward to working with CCGA and CCAC, continuing to support new retail stations and educating consumers on the benefits of E15.

EPA’s action fulfills President Trump’s directive to eliminate the outdated restriction that limited sales of E15 during the summer months. CCGA is optimistic this is the first of many steps the EPA will take to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Concern runs deep over the EPA continuing to hand out hundreds of millions of gallons worth of Small Refinery Exemptions (SRE). The potential benefits this rule provides, could quickly be undermined by demand destruction if EPA continues to grant SREs.

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