KC Sheperd, Farm Director, is visiting with Growth Energy’s Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Chris Bliley, about efforts in the ethanol industry to improve access to E15 all across the country.
“We saw the sort of unrest in Europe, and we saw what is happening with gas prices, and really biofuels have been a big solution,” Bliley said. “We saw a big uptake in E15- 35 percent increase, saving consumers up to a dollar per gallon, and we are looking for a strong RBO (Renewable Volume Obligations) volume to come out here in a couple of weeks.”
The Inflation Reduction Act, Bliley said, has tremendous update potential for Growth Energy, with the clean fuel production credit and sustainable aviation fuel as well.
Regarding the recent midterm election results, Bliley said Growth Energy works extensively with both the Republican and Democrat parties.
“We are a solution, certainly with this administration as they talk about climate, but we also are a solution to address energy security and certainly agriculture as well,” Bliley said. “We are going to continue to work with champions of both parties and really work on ways that we can continue to increase the use of biofuels across the country, be that nationwide E15 so that consumers can continue to access not only that savings, but the greenhouse gas benefits as well.”
Bliley also talked about some misconceptions regarding biofuels.
“There are a number of myths that we are constantly trying to correct,” Bliley said. “For a lot of people, I don’t think they realize that virtually every gallon of gasoline that you buy today in the U.S. contains at least ten percent ethanol. We are at nearly 3,000 stores selling E15.”
Bliley said people misconstrue that E15 can only be sold to flex-fuel vehicles, but E15 is approved for all 2001 and newer vehicles, which he said is virtually every car on the road today.
“Our plans continue to innovate, and farmers continue to innovate,” Bliley said. “As any ag producer will tell you, we are getting more and more grain out of the same land.”
For 2023, Bliley said he sees many tremendous opportunities ahead, and he is looking forward to a strong volume of renewable fuels.
Challenges for the biofuel industry, Bliley said, continue to be criticism from the oil industry and having to refute biofuel myths.
“Clearly, we are good for the environment,” Bliley said. “We are nearly a 50 percent greenhouse gas reduction continuing to get to net-zero, but there are a lot of people and detractors who claim otherwise.”
E15 is in 31 states today, Bliley said and can be sold in all but two states.
“We are continuing to build the market,” Bliley said. “We are in 3,000 locations and continuing to build that.”