Speaking to a Glacial Lakes Energy ethanol shareholders meeting in Watertown Wednesday Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor says it’s just a matter of time before E-15 blends break out across the nation. Skor, whose group represents 88 U-S ethanol producers, says 29 states are now selling E-15 ethanol blended gasoline with the number of stations selling the blend doubling in just the last year alone. But, there’s a ways to go says Skor. And, for that to happen, policy changes will be needed in Washington.
Skor says when consumers have a choice, and discover they can save from five to ten cents a gallon for a product, and that it’s good for the engine, they’ll come back for more. She says that all that U-S ethanol producers are asking is for a chance to compete.
Moms and millennials are the ones most likely to use higher ethanol blends and that, says Skor, is because they’re the two groups most focused on clean air for their families and cost savings for their budget. On another topic Skor says recent efforts by Brazil to increase corn production and impose stiff import duties on U-S ethanol is getting very little press coverage, but that it should be sending shock waves through the U-S farming community who will soon be at serious risk.
Brazil has been the sugar cane center of the world for a long time. However, the times are changing as the South American nation gets ready to enter the world market as a major corn producer. A tri-fecta of problems awaits U-S farmers as Brazil doubles their corn crop at a cost much lower than U-S producers, while at the same time constructing a new rail system to get their product into the world market. That could place U-S farmers and American bio-fuel producers at a big disadvantage, all the while stiff import duties are imposed on U-S ethanol products by Brazil. Skor says threats from other countries entering the corn and bio-fuels market make it even more important that ethanol blends are increased in the U-S so that more product can be consumed locally.