Letter: Ethanol good for Iowa’s environment


Blake Lanser/Iowa State Daily

The governor recently opposed the new renewable fuel standard by the EPA, which could affect demand for ethanol and ultimately corn in Iowa. Students like Nico Lambert, a junior in interior design, still use ethanol for its lower price.

When reading a recent article on “Improving fuel mileage” something caught my attention: there are many benefits of using ethanol-blended fuels that are not mentioned in the article.

The 14.3 billion gallons of ethanol produced in 2014 reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 39.6 million metric tons. That’s the equivalent of removing 8.4 million cars from the road. The use of ethanol is a huge step forward in creating a green earth for generations to come.

Many people also like to “shop local” at farmer’s markets, so why not do this at the pump? The entire renewable fuels industry supports around 47,000 jobs in Iowa and accounts for $5 billion of Iowa’s gross domestic product. This includes the outstanding Iowa farmers, who produce corn in Iowa that provides us with ethanol-based fuel options at the pump.

Another common concern that consumers may have at the pump is that ethanol-blended fuel will not work in their vehicle. What many consumers don’t know is that E10, or fuel containing 10 percent ethanol, is the most commonly used fuel in the United States, making up more than 90 percent of gasoline sales. Meanwhile, E15 is one of the most tested blends in history and has been approved by the EPA for 2001 and newer cars and trucks.

What’s more? E85 burns cleaners, saves consumers money at the pump and can be used in all flex-fuel vehicles. Higher ethanol blends may sometimes receive a slight reduction in gas mileage, but their cost-savings often offset the slight mileage reduction, and I think we can all agree they greatly help the environment and state of Iowa.