South Dakota Ethanol Supporters Urge Rep. Johnson to Talk Octane

Source: By Marcy Kohl, South Dakota Farmers Union • Posted: Monday, April 19, 2021

WATERTOWN, S.D. – When Congressman Dusty Johnson meets with U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan to talk about ethanol, the South Dakota Farmers Union (SDFU) and ethanol producer Glacial Lakes Energy (GLE) are urging him to include high octane fuels on the agenda.
In response to Congressman Dusty Johnson’s request to meet with the new EPA Administrator, a joint letter from SDFU president Doug Sombke and GLE Chief Executive Officer Jim Seurer to Johnson commended him for his support of ethanol but urged him to extend the discussion beyond just the Renewable Fuel Standard.
“While we all appreciate the importance of the RFS, we hope you can use that opportunity to urge EPA to also recognize the role of low carbon ethanol in the fuel economy rule and use the agency’s authority to raise the minimum octane standard,” they wrote. “.As you may be aware, the auto industry has consistently stated that a 98-100 Research Octane Number (RON) could provide as much as a 7% mileage gain. Using an E30 blend to achieve that octane level as we have demonstrated here in South Dakota would reduce carcinogenic toxic emissions as required in the Clean Air Act while providing significant Carbon and CO2 reductions while significantly increasing the demand for ethanol.”
The letter went on to point out that in developing the current rule, EPA asked for comment on octane and what benefits it would provide but the agency took no action.
“I am sure you can see why we were frustrated with EPA given that domestic, renewable ethanol from agricultural resources can be the catalyst to enact a public health and environmental program that also meets so many other public policy goals,.” they concluded.
It is expected that EPA is going to propose a new fuel economy rule by July of this year.