Ethanol producer not optimistic about E15 “policy failure” getting fixed before summer

Source: By Larry Lee, Brownfield • Posted: Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Erik Huschitt with Larry Lee at NEC2022 Photo: Cindy Zimmerman

An ethanol producer says he doubts Washington or the states can restore year-round E15 use in time for the summer driving season.

Erik Huschitt with Badger State Ethanol in Monroe, Wisconsin tells Brownfield America had the one-pound waiver approved by the prior administration, “And then, we have a change in the Supreme Court level that doesn’t acknowledge that change, and so here we are now all of three months away from driving season and we’re all scrambling trying to catch back up and policy just is not going to be able to act fast enough.”

And Huschitt says investments made to make E15 available are not being fully utilized. “All of these partners and all of these billions of dollars that were spent by USDA for infrastructure are not able to sell E15 in the high-volatility summer months, which again, the science says there is no reason this fuel should not be used in that time frame. It is a policy failure.”

Huschitt says Wisconsin’s Governor Tony Evers was one of the seven Midwestern governors that signed a petition of support for E15. “You know the politics of it. It was majorly supported by Republicans, but I really want to give Governor (Tony) Evers credit on taking the time to look at it, understand it, and sign support that he knows this is a big deal for Wisconsin, it’s a big deal for the consumer, it’s a big deal for agriculture.”

Huschitt says getting states to exercise their options to bypass the Clean Air Act and allow E15 on their own is a “hail Mary pass at best” with legislators wrapping up sessions to go back on the campaign trail soon.

Brownfield interviewed Erik Huschitt during the recent National Ethanol Conference in New Orleans.

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