Memorial Day, for many, is the kickoff to summer. School is almost out, planting is *hopefully* wrapping up for many across the Corn Belt, road trips and vacation planning are on the mind, and it’s summer blockbuster season! I am personally excited about one of the movies coming out, the new Top Gun. It makes me think of going on a “joy ride” and the “need for speed.”
With all of those things in mind, what probably has me the most excited for this summer, is the fact that I will be able to continue filling up with E15, often labeled as Unleaded 88. As everyone across the country deals with high fuel prices, it’s great to remember higher ethanol blends will save you money at the pump. Ethanol has been priced an average of 80-cents less per gallon compared to unblended gasoline, translating to savings of 20 cents or more per gallon when you choose E15.
Just a few weeks ago, there was uncertainty around whether E15 would be available for this summer driving season. In a time when we needed our collective voice to be heard, farmers from across the United States reached out to their bipartisan members of Congress and the administration to ensure they knew the low-cost, low-emission benefits of ethanol and higher blends and the impacts ethanol has on their local communities. For that, I thank you. We couldn’t have done it without you.
In April, President Biden said biofuels have “a tremendous future,” and he listed the many benefits biofuels offer: good-paying jobs in rural areas; reduced reliance on foreign oil and an increased energy supply; choice and competition at the pump for better prices; fewer emissions and less environmental harm; and stronger markets for farmers. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
In fact, just this month, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law a bill that makes Iowa the first state to adopt an E15 standard. It makes me proud to be an Iowa corn farmer, and I hope this is just the beginning of more to come.
As I look to that future, corn growers have more solutions to offer, including solutions from higher blends of ethanol and more efficient vehicles to further lower emissions as outlined in the Next Generation Fuels Act. Please reach out to your member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor this legislation or thank them if they already have. This change won’t happen overnight, but we have to keep advocating and growing support to make it happen.
We’ve seen some recent attacks on ethanol, but we’ve heard them before, and we stand behind the benefits ethanol offers. Science is on our side. Time and time again, ethanol has proven to be an environmentally friendly clean air choice for consumers. Farmers should be proud that the way we produce corn today is driving down ethanol’s carbon intensity. Our continued production improvements make corn a lower carbon feedstock for lower-carbon fuel. Ethanol is the climate solution we need now.
So, when you fill up this summer, you should feel good that corn ethanol is low carbon and reduces harmful tailpipe emissions. Look for higher ethanol blends at the pump like E15, often labeled as Unleaded 88 – the cost savings will be easy to spot and even easier to choose. I hope you all have a wonderful summer driving season.