President Biden’s decision to allow summertime E15 sales on an emergency basis does more than increase sales of the higher blended fuel, according to the ethanol industry. Renewable Fuels Association head Geoff Cooper says there’s not a “megaphone much bigger than the Oval Office”. “When the President of the United States is embracing ethanol, as a tool for lowering pump prices, that is absolutely helpful in putting our issues in front of the everyday consumer, in helping them understand that, oh, that gasoline with higher blends of ethanol is going to save me money.”
Some 25 to 30-cents a gallon, for E15 versus E10 gas. But myths that E15 can damage engines are dying slowly–another reason Cooper says Biden’s action helps. “We’ve driven tens of billions of miles on E15 without any incidents, without any complaints, without any reports of engine damage. So, I do think this helps, really engender trust in the use of the fuel and the benefits of the fuel, when you’ve got the administration putting its support behind it.”
And sales of E15 were already headed up, hitting a record 814 million gallons last year, key to dealing with crises like the war in Ukraine. Cooper; “And I absolutely think the current situation, the tragic situation, in Ukraine is underscoring for the American people again that we are not energy independent. We need to do everything we can to enhance our energy security and reduce our dependence on petroleum.”
A strategy that would have been hurt this summer, had the president said ‘no’ to an E15 emergency waiver, but that Cooper says now needs a permanent ‘fix’ for future summers.