Donnelly: Pending waiver key for E15 expansion

Source: By Erica Quinlan, AgriNews • Posted: Friday, May 19, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS – U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly continues to support the ethanol industry and the Renewable Fuels Standard.

He shared his opinions at the Indiana Ethanol Forum on May 11.

“I’ve long believed we need an all-in approach to energy policy,” said Donnelly, D-Ind. “As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I know biofuels are a key component of that approach and essential to our rural economy.

“Every gallon of ethanol produced in Indiana from corn grown on Hoosier farms means more jobs and more investment right here at home. Biofuels benefit our economy and our national security.

“That’s why I’m proud that my colleagues Debra Fischer of Nebraska and Chuck Grassley of Iowa have again joined me in a bipartisan effort to eliminate the restriction on fuel retailers and consumers through our Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act.”

The proposed legislation would extend the Reid vapor pressure waiver to ethanol blends above 10 percent. It would allow retailers across the country to sell E15 and other higher fuel blends year-round.

Ethanol Advocates

Gunner Greene, plant manager of Iroquois Bio-Energy in Rensselaer, believes the extension of the RVP waiver is crucial. He traveled to Washington, D.C., May 2-13 to meet with Indiana’s congressional delegation in support of the ethanol industry.

“There is one particular item outside of the RFS that is very vital to our industry — the extension of the Reid Vapor Pressure one pound waiver to ethanol blends beyond E10,” he said.

“Right now, in Indiana and throughout the country, in the summer months we cannot legally sell E15 as a traditional motor blend. It has to be sold as a flex fuel motor blend, the same way E85 is sold.

“As E15 has become a bigger component in the market, we need to extend that RVP waiver to higher ethanol blended fuels. This requires a legislative approach to do so.”

Greene said that leaders at Iroquois Bio-Energy continue to support the Renewable Fuel Standard, as well.

“We spend a lot of time reassuring the leaders of the state how important ag is to our state economy, and the potential impact of modifying the RFS to the ag economy,” he said.

Iroquois Bio-Energy purchases about 20 million bushels of corn annually, primarily from Jasper County farmers.

“Ethanol is important to the agriculture industry because we represent a substantial increase in the value of their products by being able to process those products into energy here in the Midwest,” Greene said.

“As a nation, our products are important because we substantially reduce the price of gasoline. Ethanol is the cheapest form of octane available in the marketplace today.”

Greene encouraged farmers to show their support for RFS.

“It’s important for the members of the agricultural community in Indiana to reach out to their representatives and senators and ask for their continued support of the Renewable Fuel Standard,” he said.

“Fortunately, many members of the house and senate are avid supporters of the industry. Senator Donnelly has been an unquestionable supporter.”