At USDA we applaud today’s action by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that essentially completes the federal actions necessary to allow consumers to buy fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol (E15). This announcement gets us one step closer to giving American consumers a real choice at the pump. It also supports the “all –of-the-above” energy strategy, including production of renewable biofuels, implemented by the Obama Administration to help wean us off of imported oil.
The public has a right to choose between spending their money on imported oil or home-grown energy. Today’s action by EPA helps break down the ethanol “blend wall” thereby potentially allowing more ethanol into the market. Iowa State University has estimated that blending ethanol with petroleum keeps the price per gallon at the pump down by around a dollar a gallon. This is a demonstration of the Obama Administration making good on its commitments to work to reduce foreign oil imports and increase domestic energy production.
In addition, today the EPA has fulfilled its responsibility to the American public to ensure that E15 is a safe and reliable fuel. Home grown biofuels are providing sustainable rural jobs that cannot be exported. Today’s action proves yet again that renewable biofuels are not a dream of the future, but are a reality, and are making a difference today.
At the President’s and Secretary Vilsack’s direction, USDA is working to develop the national biofuels industry producing energy from non-food sources in every region of the country. Working with private and government partners, USDA is supporting research into innovative energy technologies and processes, helping companies build biorefineries – including the first ever commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol facilities – and supporting farmers, ranchers, and businesses taking risks to pursue new opportunities in biofuels.