NewsPublic Affairs / July 31, 2018

Farmers Eager For E15 Restriction Rollback

Consumers usually pay less for gasolines with higher ethanol content, but suffer with less fuel economy, according to a 2013 study from a division of the U.S. Department of Energy. - stock photo

Consumers usually pay less for gasolines with higher ethanol content, but suffer with less fuel economy, according to a 2013 study from a division of the U.S. Department of Energy.

stock photo

Hoosier farmers looking for a boost in prices could get some relief if the Trump administration follows through with talk of approving year-round E15 ethanol sales.

President Trump mentioned the possible policy shift during a visit to Iowa last week. He said the Administration is working on rolling back restrictions that ban higher ethanol blended gasoline during summer months.

The federal government gave a waiver to E10 gasoline in 1992, but left E15 out.  That’s discouraged many gas stations from offering gasoline with higher blends of biofuels.

E15 contains more ethanol than other fuel blends, and there are conflicting studies on whether or not the fuel is better or worse for the environment.

Cory Harris the manager of Public Affairs for the Indiana Corn Growers Association. He says the policy shift could be positive for consumers.

“When consumers pull up to the pump, and they see a product that is better quality and lower priced, that’s where they see the value,” he says.  “[Consumers] see the value in the option to choose at the pump.”

According to a 2013 study from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory — a division of the U.S. Department of Energy — consumers using alternative biofuels in their cars do sacrifice fuel economy.

Harris says Hoosier farmers would benefit as well if the White House lifts the restrictions, but was unable to provide specifics.

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