Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been asked to raise the decades-old limit on the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline from 10 per cent (E10) to 15 per cent (E15) by Growth Energy.

General Wesley Clark, co-chairman of Growth Energy, announced the formal submission of a “green jobs” waiver and noted that increasing the blend to E15 would create 136,101 new jobs and inject US$24.4 billion into the American economy annually.

“Increasing the ethanol blend up to E15 is a common-sense solution to our economic, energy and environmental challenges,” Clark said. “Thirty years ago, the EPA allowed the 10 per cent blend based on much less scientific evidence than we have today, and we now have years of driving experience showing that our cars’ performance is not affected. Raising the cap up to E15 is supported by sound science. If the EPA acts swiftly, a higher blend of ethanol will help us jump-start the economy, while further reducing our dependence on foreign oil.”

Clark said he welcomed the opportunity to work with the USDA and EPA on efforts to provide short-term relief through a substantially similar waiver for E12 or E13. He said that to approve the higher ethanol blend request, the EPA only needs to determine that ethanol blends up to 15 per cent will not affect the emission control systems in most vehicles, and Growth Energy made the request based on multiple sources of scientific data showing that E15 has no adverse effect on a car’s performance, maintenance, or emission controls. The waiver request would not affect small engines, since gas stations would still be able to sell lower blends of ethanol, including gasoline that does not contain any.

In a study released by Growth Energy, another six billion gallons of ethanol production capacity would need to be built in order to meet a 15 per cent blend rate, which would lead to additional annual employment and a one-time economic boost of $36.8 billion and the creation of more than 260,000 new construction-related jobs. The E15 blend would also avoid the importation of seven billion gallons of foreign oil each year, reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 10.5 million vehicles from the road, and create a market for second-generation biofuels.

Growth Energy is a group committed to the promise of agriculture and increased American economy through cleaner and greener energy.

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