Letter to the Editor: Ethanol’s bright future

Source: By David Hallberg, Omaha World Herald • Posted: Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Oct. 28 World-Herald editorial “Ethanol sector ups and downs” did a great job of explaining what a powerful economic growth engine the $5 billion ethanol industry has been for Nebraska and the nation.

Yet, despite its many benefits, the U.S. ethanol industry stands at a critical juncture. The Environmental Protection Agency plans to dismantle the industry’s cornerstone, the Renewable Fuels Standard, blaming what it falsely claims is an “intractable E10 Blend Wall.” However, Congress has instructed the EPA to protect Americans’ health and environment by using more ethanol to replace toxic compounds that comprise 30 percent of a typical gallon of gasoline.

Compared to poisonous lead and carcinogenic benzene-based octane boosters that the oil industry prefers, ethanol is a superior gasoline octane booster. Today’s cars require higher octane for better efficiency and lower emissions. The U.S. Department of Energy recently singled out E30 blends as the best way for automakers to get the higher-octane gasoline they need. Premium E30 blends would save consumers at the pump, and substantially reduce harmful emissions.

Thousands of Americans like me prove every day that standard vehicles — without modification — run better on high-octane E30 blends compared to traditional gasoline.

Ethanol’s best days are just around the corner, as high-octane E30 blends expand nationwide to benefit automakers, consumers, the environment and the Midwestern economy.

David Hallberg, Omaha

Director, Siouxland Ethanol plant board