Latest Fuel Sales Data Proves Ethanol Blend Wall Is Dead

Latest Fuel Sales Data Proves Ethanol Blend Wall Is Dead

Big Oil is restricting access to higher blends of ethanol fuels, that's the true hurdle keeping use from expanding.

On the heels of surging E15 and E85 sales, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association on October 24 declared the so-called E10 ethanol blend wall dead. Recent calls to gut the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, have centered on the myth that it is impossible to sell blends above 10% ethanol or E10, but actual retailer sales data proves otherwise.

THERE IS NO BLEND WALL: Sales data for ethanol shows restricted access to the E15 and higher blends of the renewable fuel, caused by Big Oil throwing up roadblocks to availability at gas stations. That's the real problem. Not a so-called blend wall. "It's not that you can't sell these ethanol blends; it's that Big Oil refuses to do so," says Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

"All too often the debate in DC is disconnected from the real world and the debate surrounding the bogus E10 blend wall is no different," says IRFA executive director Monte Shaw. "There is no E10 blend wall. Everywhere higher blends have been offered, consumers have responded positively. Rather, there are frivolous ethanol access restrictions, or FEAR for short, FEAR that is being systematically heightened by Big Oil through lies, lawsuits and legislative attacks in an attempt to preserve its fuel monopoly. In truth, the RFS is the only tool we have to combat Big Oil's FEAR mongering and provide consumers the opportunity to choose lower cost, cleaner burning ethanol blends like E15 and E85."

The six registered E15 retailers in Iowa sold enough E15 in one month to power a car around the world 19 times

IRFA released the first month of sales data for E15 in Iowa following its September 16 reintroduction. The six registered E15 retailers in Iowa reporting data sold 23,959 gallons of registered E15 in only one month enough to make more than 19 trips around the world!  Each of the retailers also offers other higher blends for flexible fuel vehicles, including E85. Averaged across all fuel blends, ethanol accounted for roughly 25% of the retailers' gasoline sales. This level of ethanol sales far exceeds the scheduled RFS levels for years to come.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~

Shaw adds, "We have real world data on higher blend ethanol sales and the facts are clear. In Iowa, and to my knowledge around the country, every retailer that offers higher ethanol blends like E15 and E85 exceeds the percentage of conventional renewables called for by the Renewable Fuel Standard -- in 2014 and far beyond. This proves consumers will buy enough higher ethanol blends to exceed the RFS if given a chance. If policymakers compare Big Oil's hypothetical blend wall horror stories to real world data they quickly learn it's not that you can't sell these ethanol blends; it's that Big Oil refuses to do so."

Sales data shows restricted access to E15, not so-called "blend wall" is true hurdle

With attractive pricing, second quarter E85 sales in Iowa nearly doubled those in the first quarter. While official third-quarter sales data has not been released by the state, a sampling of retailers indicates third quarter sales will continue the upward trajectory and could be 50% higher than second quarter data.

* NOTE: This statement about enough E-15 sold to go on a trip around the world 19 times assumes that trip is in a vehicle achieving 20 miles per gallon, says Shaw. Only six of Iowa's eight registered E15 retailers shared sales data with IRFA.

Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.7 billion gallons annually, with one wet mill and three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development. For more information, visit the IRFA website.

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