Iowa celebrates clean, renewable biofuels on E15 day

Source: By Emily Skor, Des Moines Register • Posted: Friday, September 16, 2016

Iowa has long been a leader in fueling the green energy revolution that has swept America and is improving the way we fuel our vehicles. From the fields that characterize the state’s iconic landscape to the labs where scientists turn kernels into fuel, Iowa is helping power America towards a greener, cleaner 21st century.

As with any accomplishment, Iowans should take a moment to appreciate all they are doing to move our nation forward. Now, thanks to the leadership of Gov. Terry Branstad, Sept. 16 is the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.

Gov. Branstad is officially designating Sept. 16 as E15 day across Iowa in celebration of drivers enjoying broader access to an advanced fueling option that contains 5 percentage points more ethanol than the standard 10 percent blend. By increasing the amount of ethanol in gasoline, we can more fully realize the extensive benefits of this Iowa-made biofuel.

Approved for use in all vehicles made since 2001, E15 is ideally suited for drivers who value improved engine performance, lower emissions and more affordable gas. The environmental benefits of ethanol are so significant that it is estimated ethanol use reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 110 million metric tons annually. That’s the same as taking 20 million vehicles off the road — every year.

Drivers in other states may not realize it, but they are benefiting from the energy developed right here in the heartland. Pumping added horsepower into their engines, ethanol cuts emissions while still improving performance.

The progress is real. Thanks to ethanol, we’ve been able to remove toxic additives from our fuel supply that were poisoning our air and water. Because of the energy produced by the Hawkeye state, we benefit every time we take a breath of fresh air. That’s what I call Iowa nice!

Leading an organization devoted to the development and promotion of cleaner- and cooler-burning biofuels, I am continuously amazed by the advances being made by scientists here in Iowa and beyond. This is an industry that has literally grown up from the ground to support nearly 400,000 jobs, and the future looks brighter — and greener — than ever.

So take a moment on Sept. 16 to remember all your state is doing to improve the environment and economy of our entire country. Iowa’s official celebration of E15 might be limited one day, but all Americans enjoy the benefits year round.

Emily Skor is CEO of Growth Energy