Iowa retailers can now get an extra incentive for selling gas that contains 15% ethanol. Gas has been sold with a 10% mix of the corn-based ethanol for decades, and there is an 85-percent mix for flex-fuel vehicles. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director, Monte Shaw, says the E.P.A. has finalized the rules allowing E-15 to be sold and the state incentive began July 1st.
Shaw says it’s a three-cent-a-gallon incentive, and the fuel will be available for flexible fuel vehicles, but the expect the fuel to be approved for 2001 and new cars by this fall. Shaw says there is already a federal incentive given for ethanol that will expire at the end of this year unless it is renewed. That federal incentive will go to retailers along with new state incentive for E-15. The E-15 blend will be sold by stations with “blender” fuel pumps that can give you different mixes of fuel.
He says there are 30 sites that have blender pumps today that can offer a blend above 10-percent ethanol and below E-85. Shaw expects a vast majority of those pumps will have E-15 as an option. Shaw expects more retailers to dedicate a pump to E-15 to take advantage of the state incentives.
Shaw says they retailers will look to get a “bigger bang for their buck” by selling E-15. He says they have to go through a process to be sure their pump system is compliant for E-15 and if they do, they could be selling the fuel by September. Shaw says motorists should not be afraid to put E-15 in their vehicles.
“The E-P-A and the Department of Energy put E-15 through the most rigorous test program in the history of our country,” Shaw says, “E-15 is the most tested fuel in our country, and it passed and that’s why it has been approved. So we would really not expect a person to see any difference between E-10 and E-15.” Shaw says the ethanol incentives should make E-15 a cheaper option.
He says that’s probably where people will see the biggest change as E-15 should save you some money. Shaw says you should be interested in E-15 because it uses 50% more ethanol and allows you to “do something to help Iowa and help my country.” He says it will stimulate the Iowa economy as well as helping wean us off of foreign oil.
Shaw says Iowa has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing nearly 3.7 billion gallons annually.