A gas pump displays the price for E15, a gasoline with 15 percent of ethanol, and various other ethanol blends at a gas station in Nevada, Iowa, United States, May 17, 2015. Over the past few months, privately held retailers Kum & Go and Shee
So why is it that higher ethanol blends can bring down gas prices?
Ethanol is home-grown and American-made.
While importing foreign oil involves costs for transportation and tariffs, biofuels like ethanol are grown and produced right here in America. So instead of supporting oil moguls in the Middle East or Russia, we’re boosting demand for corn grown by American farmers, and produced at plants that support jobs and prosperity here at home.
Ethanol blending increases America’s fuel supply.
Part of the reason gasoline prices are so high right now is because of high demand and low supply. But when we add ethanol to the gasoline we already have, it means there’s more overall fuel to go around. By bolstering the low supply of oil with the increased use of corn ethanol, we can increase our overall fuel supply and bring down prices across the board.
Ethanol is less expensive per gallon.
Not only does ethanol strengthen our fuel supply, but it also reduces the cost of each gallon of gasoline you buy at the pump. Because ethanol is less expensive per gallon than traditional gasoline, a gallon of E15 blended gas can be up to 50 to 60 cents per gallon cheaper.
With the average American purchasing 421 gallons of gas a year, this could mean savings up to $252 annually for consumers!
Lawmakers call on Biden to expand ethanol use
FOX Business’ Grady Trimble reports from Polo, Ill., where corn farmers are showing support for E15 gasoline to be available year-round.
OK, you may be asking: "I’m ready to support American farmers, increase our nation’s fuel supply, and pay less at the pump! But can my car handle ethanol?"
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advises that E15 is safe to use on vehicles manufactured from 2001 through today. And because we’ve been blending ethanol into gasoline for decades, automakers have already made sure that seals, hoses and gaskets in the vehicles they make can handle higher blends of ethanol, like E15.
Would more corn used for ethanol reduce our food supply or increase prices at the grocery store?
The short answer is no. If you’ve ever driven around the Heartland, you’ll see that we have plenty of corn to go around! And the corn used for ethanol isn’t what you eat off the cob. What you may not know, is that the feed corn used for ethanol becomes nutrient-dense distillers grain after production. This is then used as the second-largest source of animal feed in the United States!
Biofuel debate between ethanol makers and refiners
The biofuel debate
So how can our policies leverage American biofuels to reduce gas prices? Thankfully, President Biden is leading the way in supporting ethanol blending. Recently, the Administration announced it would rescind 31 oil refinery waivers that would have allowed oil companies to avoid blending ethanol into their supply. And just this month, President Biden announced an emergency rule to reverse a freeze on E15 sales this summer. Both of these actions are important moves to prevent a continued rise in gas prices for consumers.
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Moving forward, I’m continuing to work with my colleagues on the bipartisan House Biofuels Caucus to secure year-round sales of E15, and pass the Home Front Energy Independence Act, which would expand the production and availability of American biofuels to help lower fuel costs for hardworking men and women across the country.
By utilizing American-made ethanol, we can help counter high gas prices and keep costs down for hardworking families across the country and work toward a cleaner and healthier future.
Democrat Cheri Bustos represents the 17th District of Illinois.
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