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Grassroots Voice: Not Afraid to Compete
by Brian Jennings

Ethanol Today readers know that ACE has partnered with others to support the E15 waiver pending before EPA. We have done so because EPA arbitrarily restricts the volume of ethanol that can be blended into a gallon of gasoline to just 10 percent, and Big Oil jealously blocks ethanol from gaining additional market access.

This isn’t a move that is simply in our self-interest. If EPA approves E15, consumers will pay less for fuel because wholesale prices for ethanol trade at a significant discount to gasoline.

Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear that when EPA approves E15, it will simply be on a limited basis, restricting E15 use to model year 2001 and newer cars. We are concerned this will cause unnecessary confusion for consumers, not to mention the fact that EPA has yet to explain why they don’t support E15 use in all vehicles.

So, in anticipation of an inadequate EPA decision on E15, ACE believes a new focus on consumer choice is needed. The most straightforward way to transfer the power to decide what fuel to use from Big Oil to American motorists is the combination of Flexible Fuel Vehicles (FFVs) and blender pumps.

ACE members believe that motorists deserve the right to choose what fuel to put in their cars, and we’re not afraid to have our fuel of choice – ethanol – compete with petroleum. But apparently Big Oil is afraid of competition and consumer choice because the status quo, basically established by the oil lobby and outdated government restrictions, prevents Americans from being able to choose the best fuel for their vehicles.

If every auto sold in the U.S. were an FFV, capable of using virtually any blend of ethanol and gasoline, Big Oil would be forced to finally compete at the pump. Similarly, blender pumps empower consumers to choose the most affordable and reliable blend of ethanol and gasoline for their car.

To this end, ACE supports S. 1627, the “Consumer Fuels and Vehicle Choice Act,” legislation by Senators Harkin (D-IA) and Lugar (R-IN) that would provide more FFVs and blender pumps. ACE has launched an online petition at www.ethanol.org/petition providing consumers with the ability to express their support for this bill and for fuel choice at the pump. I encourage you to sign the petition today.

The longer we wait to provide Americans with fuel choice, the more consumers will pay at the pump, the more the environment will suffer, and the more our nation will become dependent on foreign sources of oil. Please go to www.ethanol.org/petition and stand up for consumer choice at the pump.

 
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The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industryís hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanolís carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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