Gov. Culver: Requests Federal Government for E-15 Ethanol Waiver
Gov. Culver: Requests federal government for E-15 ethanol waiver
May 1, 2009
Phil Roeder, Governor’s Office
Jessica Zopf, Office of Energy Independence
DES MOINES – Governor Chet Culver has sent a letter to Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, requesting a waiver to allow for the sale of an E-15 blend of ethanol. The move comes as the EPA is seeking public comment on the proposal.
“Iowa has led the nation in the development and use of ethanol,” said Governor Culver. “By lifting the artificial cap on ethanol blends, we can increase the demand on ethanol, reduce our dependence on imported oil, and create new good-paying green collar jobs. As Governor, I have never wavered in my commitment to ethanol, and believe that when combined with other homegrown energy efforts like wind and biodiesel, can play an integral role in building a brighter, stronger, greener future for Iowa, and America.”
Studies have shown that moving to E-15 has no impact on a car’s drivability, and will create thousands of jobs. A recent study by the University of North Dakota found that moving to E-15 will create more than 136,000 new green-collar jobs. In addition, the move could generate $24.4 billion for the U.S. economy and displace seven billion gallons of imported gasoline each year.
The text of Governor Culver’s letter is below:
The Honorable Lisa P. Jackson
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460-2403
Dear Administrator Jackson:
On behalf of the State of Iowa, I respectfully ask that the United States Environmental Protection Agency approve a waiver to increase the allowable ethanol content of gasoline to 15 percent (E15) as recently requested by a consortium of ethanol producers under 211(F) (4) of the Clean Air Act. The people of Iowa know that increasing the amount of ethanol that can be blended into the nation’s fuel supply will create green jobs, environmental benefit and help eliminate our nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
The combination of the current economic challenges, lower oil prices and the near saturation of the 10 percent ethanol blend market are weakening the foundation of an industry that saved the nation hundreds of billions of dollars in oil imports in the past several years, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The impact of today’s recession and these market conditions on the existing ethanol industry is great. The real threat is to the future of biofuels — cellulosic, bio-oils, advanced biofuels. Declining private investors’ support for biofuels projects, and the focus, resources, and talent needed to achieve an advanced biofuels future will be lost without a market for the fuels.
I respectfully ask you to act quickly to take this critical step to address the immediate struggles of the ethanol industry. The State of Iowa stands committed to working with you and your agency to ensure the success of biofuels in the future.
Thank you for your leadership and support.
Chester J. Culver
Governor of Iowa
Renergie was formed by Ms. Meaghan M. Donovan on March 22, 2006 for the purpose of raising capital to develop, construct, own and operate a network of ten ethanol plants in the parishes of the State of Louisiana which were devastated by hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Each ethanol plant will have a production capacity of five million gallons per year (5 MGY) of fuel-grade ethanol. Renergie’s “field-to-pump” strategy is to produce non-corn ethanol locally and directly market non-corn ethanol locally. On February 26, 2008, Renergie was one of 8 recipients, selected from 139 grant applicants, to share $12.5 million from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Renewable Energy Technologies Grants Program. Renergie received $1,500,483 (partial funding) in grant money to design and build Florida’s first ethanol plant capable of producing fuel-grade ethanol solely from sweet sorghum juice. On April 2, 2008, Enterprise Florida, Inc., the state’s economic development organization, selected Renergie as one of Florida’s most innovative technology companies in the alternative energy sector. On January 20, 2009, Florida Energy & Climate Commission amended RET Grant Agreement S0386 to increase Renergie’s funding from $1,500,483 to $2,500,000. By blending fuel-grade ethanol with gasoline at the gas station pump, Renergie will offer the consumer a fuel that is renewable, more economical, cleaner, and more efficient than unleaded gasoline. Moreover, the Renergie project will mark the first time that Louisiana farmers will share in the profits realized from the sale of value-added products made from their crops.