Corn ethanol has been under much scrutiny in Washington, D.C. over the past year; and the United States Environmental Protection Agency has yet to issue rules related to exactly how much of the-fuel can be used this calendar year in the nation’s gasoline supply. Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, a pro-ethanol Washington, D.C. based firm says that’s a better sign than you might think for corn ethanol.
“We see the delay as positive because then they ahd to stop and read all the comments and hopefully absorb the comments from us and others in the industry that pointed out how they’re going backwards and not forwards in their quest for renewable energy. We hope they change it. We’ll see. We should be seeing it very soon. But more important than the timing is getting it right. They got the methodology wrong, they got the volumes wrong and we want to see changes in both.”
On that note of change – Buis has some thoughts on whether E-85 pumps or E-15 at all gasoline pumps might be the next big step for corn ethanol in the United States.
“I think you’ll see it in E-15 because the market economics will drive it in there. E-15 is cheaper than E-10. Eighty percent of all the cars on the road today can use it. So just like E-10 permeated the market because the economics were better, we think E-15 will follow suit. E-85 still requires a flex fuel vehicle which is a little more difficult. But whatever they do whether it’s E-15, E-30, E-85, we feel very strongly to let the consumer make that choice. Let them have that choice at the pump. And that’s one of the big struggles that we face is the ability to offer our products to the consumer.”