Ethanol and Biofuels Capture Headlines

USDA research shows corn ethanol is showing a better energy balance mainly because of increased efficiencies in growing corn, but also because of improvements in the distilleries.

The USDA report, 2008 Energy Balance for the Corn Ethanol Industry, reveals that corn ethanol supplies twice the amount of energy it takes to produce the fuel.

With such positive reports, its no wonder Senators are asking for action. Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, John Thune of South Dakota, Mike Johanns of Nebraska and Kit Bond of Missouri are pressing President Barack Obama on his administration’s decision to further delay the entry of E15 blends of gasoline into the market. The senators asked the president for prompt action on the waiver petition and immediate consideration of an interim blend of E12.

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency not only delayed approval of E15 blends of gasoline, but it also put forth an unnecessarily complicated waiver plan that would provide a partial waiver for newer model vehicles. The senators wrote,

“It’s hard to understand how an administration that talks so adamantly about the benefits of domestic, renewable fuels can allow such delay and inaction. Domestic ethanol producers have concluded that approving E15 would create 136,000 U.S. jobs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by 7 billion gallons.”

Obama’s administration may be hesitating, but the Department of Agriculture is not. The USDA will release a report today that outlines both the current state of renewable transportation fuels efforts in America and a plan to develop regional strategies to increase the production, marketing and distribution of biofuels.

The report will provide information on current production and consumption capacities as well as projections to meet the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) mandate to use 36 billion gallons of biofuel per year in America’s fuel supply by 2022.


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