State Ag Secretary Bill Northey says increasing the amount of Iowa-produced ethanol that’s mixed in gasoline is a good possibility. The Environmental Protection Agency is taking input on raising the amount of ethanol allowed from 10% to 15%.
Northey says we are in the middle of the comment period, and once the period is done, federal officials will look at the comments and make a decision. He says there is a good chance for a higher blend, maybe starting at a 12 or 13% blend on the way to a 15-percent blend. Northey says a change in the formula is overdue.
He says the 10% blend was set up a long time ago when we didn’t know we would have this big a supply of ethanol. Northey says the blend can be increased without any impact on auto manufacturers or other users of fuel. Northey says an increase in the blend wouldn’t have an impact on the amount of ethanol produced, but could keep more of the ethanol in Iowa.
Northey says the 15% blend would be a huge increase in ethanol usage, and he says if the blend was used in the midwest, then the ethanol would not have to be shipped as far away and would be a more efficient use of ethanol. The E-P-A’s public comment period on raising the ethanol blend is open until July 20th.