Building for the future
The Renewable Fuel Standard, which came into effect in 2005 and was reauthorized and expanded with strong bipartisan support in 2007 and promotes the production of home-grown renewable fuels, giving consumers an alternative to foreign petroleum.
RFS has allowed for expansion of the American ethanol industry by creating market certainty. It requires that by 2022, the U.S. fuel market blends 36 billion gallons of biofuels, with up to 15 billion gallons coming from corn-based ethanol.
"The RFS is the only major policy in the United States that is reducing our dependence on foreign oil," says Don Elsbernd of Postville, who serves on the Iowa Corn Growers Association. "It also provides consumers with lower energy costs and creates the necessary market conditions to encourage innovation in renewable energy. By requiring renewable fuel use, Congress has given investors the confidence that a market for biofuels will exist."
It is estimated that additional job creation from advanced biofuels production under the RFS could reach 807,000 by 2022.
Flex fuel vehicles
One way increase ethanol consumption is by using more in flex fuel vehicles that are designed to run on a variety of fuels, including regular unleaded, super unleaded (10 percent ethanol) or any blend of ethanol up to 85 percent.
There are nearly nine million FFVs on U.S. roadways and one in 10 vehicles in Iowa is an FFV. Iowa has over 175 E85 pumps out of the 2900 in the U.S. For more information on FFV models, visit www.iowacorn.org/ethanol.
In addition, there are more ethanol blended fuel choices than ever. The key component for retailing these fuel options to consumers is the ethanol flex fuel pump, which blends gasoline and E85 to make a variety of mid-range blends such as 15 percent, 20 percent, 30 percent, or 85 percent ethanol.
Nearly every gallon of gasoline sold in the United States is blended with 10 percent ethanol. Last year, the EPA approved a waiver for 15 percent ethanol blended fuel for vehicles 2001 and newer. E15 is a new higher octane fuel that is approved for use in model year 2001 and newer cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles and all FFVs. The approved group of vehicles includes more than 62 percent of the cars, trucks and SUVs on the road today. What is more important is the fuel consumed by these vehicles constitutes more than 80 percent of the unleaded fuel sold. For more details visit www.iowacorn.org/ethanol or www.byoethanol.com.