Dear EPA: Watertown is ‘Premium E30 ready’

Source: By Jim Seurer, Watertown Public Opinion • Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Dear EPA:

You may have heard that Glacial Lakes Energy (GLE) shareholders and other local residents who have a vested interest in rural America and who are interested in using a cleaner and higher performing fuel have recently participated in our E30 Challenge. If you haven’t heard, please read this carefully and listen up to hear our message.

First a refresher. What is the E30 Challenge you ask? The E30 Challenge is a campaign initiated by GLE and its industry partners ICM and Urban Air Initiative to encourage the voluntary use of Premium E30 fuel (30 percent ethanol blend) in both flex and non-flex vehicles. Essentially, we are challenging your conventional wisdom that 2001 and newer non-flex autos can only operate, at most, on a 15 percent ethanol blend (E15). Ultimately, the main purpose of this campaign is to drive change to help you recognize the value that higher blends of ethanol have to offer.

The E30 Challenge was born out of our frustration with the “status quo” during the summer of 2015 when we purchased a full page ad in the local newspaper listing GLE officials who “pledged” to refuel their vehicles with E30 every time they had the opportunity. We received a very favorable response from that printing and discussed how to move this campaign to the next level. We decided to engage one of the area’s most renowned ethanol and engine performance experts, Andy Wicks of Performance Engine and Dyno-Tune, to handle questions and inquiries from auto owners and other repair technicians.

We then quickly moved to educate and encourage auto repair shops and dealerships to join our crusade. Once all were on board, we met with the owners of the six fuel retail sites here in Watertown that dispense premium E30 to discuss the promotional aspects of our drive. It was determined that a 30 cents per gallon discount on premium E30 during the months of May and June should get the attention of the driving public, and did it ever.

Because we love kids and are concerned about their health and well-being, we decided to pledge another 30 cents per gallon to the Watertown Boys and Girls Club to further entice drivers to give premium E30 a try. To obtain live information about how premium E30 was performing in the auto’s engine, we developed a list of roughly 50 “test autos” to which we connected performance data logging devices to compare the effects of E10 to E30. While we are still in the process of collecting and analyzing this data, early indications bode well for premium E30. EPA, we believe we were methodical in how this campaign was planned and managed

What have we learned? We’ve learned there is no significant change in miles per gallon and we have documented proof that engines have more torque and more horsepower using premium E30 fuel. Since ethanol is a cleaner burning fuel, we are 110 percent certain that it’s much better for our environment which, by the way, is something that should perk your interest. We’ve learned that we increased the use of premium E30 by 600 percent during those two months and, given the volume and popularity of the promotion, it will come as no surprise then that we met our goal of donating $50,000 to the local Boys and Girls Club. Most importantly, we’ve learned that premium e30 did not create one significant engine issue.

EPA, you have our full, unrestricted permission to utilize the groundbreaking work here in Watertown to promote and encourage other areas around the country to follow our lead. Better yet, lift your arbitrary selection of E15 as the fuel of choice and give everyone the freedom from the grip of the dirty, polluting oil industry to express their “fuel freedom” by refueling as they see fit.

EPA, under the powers vested in me by Glacial Lakes Energy, I hereby declare Watertown, S.D., to be “Premium E30 Ready” and a model for you to promote through these United States of America.

Jim Seurer is chief executive officer of Glacial Lakes Energy, LLC