Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Illinois Corn is mourning the loss of a heated battle today.  The EPA announced that they are approving e15 for cars model years 2007 and newer which effectively places a huge wedge right in the middle of the industry. 

Of course, there is always that saying.  We may have lost the battle but we haven't lost the war.

In Illinois Corn's press release about the US EPA's announcement, our president, Tim Lenz, is quoted as saying, "EPA should make decisions such as this using sound science and good common sense. We have always been adamant that moving to higher blends should work for everyone including petroleum marketers, automobile manufacturers, and obviously for consumers ... But the fact is Administrator Jackson has made up her mind. Where we go from here is what should be focused on now.”

I couldn't agree more. 

I'm disappointed in the EPA's continued disregard for science and common sense and I'm outraged at their lack of understanding of the reality of the marketplace.  What retailer wants to take the gamble to offer e15 when only a fraction of his customers can use it?  And then, will he be liable for any customer that unknowingly uses e15 in their older than 2007 car, only to blame the fuel on some random vehicular problem?

I'm guessing few retailers will take that chance.

My other big disappointment is that Administrator Jackson didn't take the option we offered - increase the blends to 12 percent, keep the ethanol industry afloat and move towards energy independence and the goals of the RFS, while gaining some time to further investigate e15.  Illinois Corn felt this across the board approach was a much better solution for the ethanol industry, as well as a solution that addressed concerns from petroleum marketers, automobile manufacturers and consumers.

Once again, no common sense.

But to do exactly what Lenz suggests and focus on the next steps, Illinois Corn will continue to point to the latest research, showing that e15 is perfectly fine for cars as old as 1994.  And we will take this very small victory, albeit empty, and run with it ... on e15.

Dave Loos
ICMB/ICGA Ethanol Guru

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