Opinion Ethanol helps cut toxic emissions

Source: By Geoff Cooper, Washington Post • Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2022

Corn fields near Burkittsville, Md. (Monica Rodman/TWP)

Americans should be thanking President Biden for allowing the continued sale of lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 this summer (letters, “No more ethanol in gas,” April 22). E15 is saving drivers as much as 30 cents per gallon, cutting the typical U.S. household’s annual fuel bill by more than $200. Mr. Biden’s action simply allows cost-conscious families who are currently purchasing E15 to continue doing so all year long.

What’s more, new vehicle testing from the University of California at Riverside shows that using E15 reduces emissions of the pollutants that can cause smog — namely ozone, particle pollution and air toxics. And researchers from the Energy Department, Agriculture Department, Harvard, MIT, Purdue, University of Illinois, Ford Motor Co. and many others all agree: Today’s ethanol reduces life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 50 percent. In addition, Environmental Protection Agency data show that cropland in the United States continues to shrink as ethanol production has increased, undermining the assertion that grassland or forest has been “cleared” to grow corn for ethanol.

Unlike releasing oil from the strategic reserve, which simply prolongs our dependence on dirty petroleum, allowing greater use of American-made ethanol lowers pump prices and improves air quality and fights climate change. Mr. Biden should be commended for doing the right thing.

Geoff Cooper, Ellisville, Mo.

The writer is president and chief executive of the Renewable Fuels Association.