Biofuel Governors Tout E30
by Chris Clayton (DTN Progressive Farmer) Coalition Sees Opportunity in Higher Fuel Economy Standards — Leaders and founders of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition see a push for higher fuel-economy standards as the next opportunity to spur more biofuels production around the country.
The group met Saturday at the National Governors’ Association annual meeting in Des Moines. The governors stressed the opportunities they saw in advancing 30% ethanol blends, or E30, through the push for higher fuel economy and lower emissions. They see this as the way to look beyond mandates set in the Renewable Fuels Standard.
“The nation’s biofuels future is a lot more than the RFS,” said former Nebraska Gov. and group co-founder Ben Nelson.
The biofuels coalition held a breakfast to honor Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, the longest-serving governor in U.S. history, described as “a godfather of the biofuels industry,” by Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts.
Branstad noted biofuels and wind power — Iowa gets 31% of its energy from wind — are transforming the state.
Branstad called higher octane E30 “as the sweet spot” for both meeting higher octane levels and the higher mileage for the turbo-charged engines that manufacturers will need to meet higher fuel economy standards.
The RFS remains a foundation for biofuels, but rule changes involving fuel standards may be the next area to help further boost production in biofuels, (former US Senator and former Nebraska Governor Ben) Nelson said. One rule change could reduce toxic aromatics in gasoline, which could be fixed by shifting fuel blends to higher levels of ethanol.
Nelson pointed to a new initiative, the High Octane-Low Carbon Fuels Alliance, headed by former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle. Nelson said the alliance has one objective — to make sure final rules for a new fuel economy standard includes the use of 30% ethanol blends, E30, to help power more advanced turbo-charged engines and reduce carbon emissions at the same time.
“The transition to a nationwide, high-octane gasoline would fulfill a major RFS goal,” Nelson said. “It would require 30 billion gallons by 2022.”
“It’s certainly puzzling from my standpoint that an administration that talks about protecting the environment doesn’t want to continue to make sure that we have as much ethanol in the system as possible,” (Current Nebraska Gov. Pete) Ricketts said.
Other governors attending the breakfast included Gov. John Edwards of Louisiana, Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas. READ MORE