In the last few months, we’ve seen several major issues addressed in Washington, D.C., from E15 and tax credits for blenders to climate change legislation and indirect land use change. We’re working hard on the hill and in the press to make our voices heard.
A big effort by Growth Energy has been the Green Jobs Waiver, submitted in March to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which seeks to raise the blend wall to E15. In December, the EPA responded to the Growth Energy waiver with a strong signal on E15 but delayed the implementation until spring.
While we had hoped for approval of higher ethanol blends, the EPA’s letter gives Growth Energy confidence that approval is forthcoming. The letter bodes well for the ethanol industry by affirming what our submitted research has shown: E15 is safe for vehicles.
As you all know, E15 would create much greater market certainty — adding as much as seven billion gallons of capacity — that in turn will draw capital investment to underwrite development of cellulosic ethanol. This is a critical decision for our industry, but also for the nation. Moving to E15 will create 136,000 new jobs at a time when our country desperately needs domestic job creation. More ethanol means fewer greenhouse gas emissions. And we will be less dependent on imported oil, strengthening our national and economic security.
Another challenge Growth Energy is working to overcome is the growing threat of indirect land use change (ILUC). ILUC is a fl awed and untested concept that was slipped into the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. It basically states that ethanol and biofuels are to blame for Amazonian deforestation. While in reality, deforestation has declined at the same time that U.S. ethanol production has increased. It goes on to push the notion that ethanol and biofuels should be assessed with higher carbon counts and greenhouse gas emissions than are actually generated by their production and combustion.
Growth Energy is working hard to persuade Congress that it must take action to strip ILUC from law. We have seen some initial success Rep. Collin Peterson, D-Minn., chairman of the house agriculture committee, inserted a provision in the House-passed climate change legislation that would bar the U.S. EPA from enforcing ILUC until a multi-year study is completed by the National Academy of Sciences.
In late December, Growth Energy also took the initiative to file state and federal suits in opposition to the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) low carbon fuel standard (LCFS). The LCFS was initially approved by CARB in April.
Provisions were included in the regulations that would eliminate corn ethanol from the California market — even though corn ethanol is the only practical alternative to gasoline refined from petroleum oil for most consumers, and the only one that uses domestic resources.
And while we’re working hard in Washington, D.C. and across the country, policy makers listen most intently to the voices from their home states and districts. That is why we at Growth Energy work closely with our membership to turn up the volume from ethanol’s grassroots supporters — and we do need your help. To make your voices heard and collectively support agriculture and ethanol, join the Growth Force at GrowthForce.org