Growth Energy: This Earth Day, E15 can help achieve climate goals

By Growth Energy | April 22, 2022

To commemorate Earth Day, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor released the following statement celebrating biofuels’ environmental contributions and role in achieving a low-carbon future:

“As President Biden said in Iowa last week, we simply can’t get to net-zero emissions by 2050 without biofuels. Biofuels like ethanol reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent compared to gasoline and are an accessible, plant-based fuel source that can immediately help improve air quality alongside other clean energy solutions.

“On the heels of last week’s announcement, this Earth Day is a particularly important reminder of the role American biofuels play in decarbonizing our transportation sector—from vehicles on the road today to the planes in the sky tomorrow. Filling up with higher blends of biofuels can help our nation achieve its climate goals. In fact, if we moved to a nationwide E15 standard, we could reduce carbon emissions by more than 17.62 million tons – the equivalent of taking 3.85 million cars off the road each year. The development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) using ethanol would also result in a significant reduction in carbon emissions compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces.

“For the U.S. to meet its climate goal of net-zero emissions by midcentury, we have to quickly expand the volume of low-carbon biofuels across the entire transportation sector. Fortunately, American drivers can already access the cleaner benefits and better value of American biofuels at pumps across the country with E15. Filling up with E15 or Unleaded 88 – as it’s known to consumers at the pump – is a simple change with meaningful benefits for the environment.

“This Earth Day, celebrate our planet by filling up on higher blends of biofuels at the pump. You can find E15 available near you at getbiofuel.com/fuelfinder.”

Biofuels are Key to Reaching Climate Goals

Biofuels like ethanol play an important role in reducing emissions and improving our environment for future generations. The biofuels industry delivers an immediate impact that allows for fuel choice and supports development of new markets and applications for clean energy.

Delivering an Immediate Impact

    •Biofuels like ethanol reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent compared to gasoline.

    •Today, a simple move to E15 would reduce CO2 emissions by more than 17.62 million tons — the equivalent of taking 3.85 million cars off the road each year.

    •Increased blends of ethanol means less pollution and healthier communities. A study by the University of California Riverside found that ethanol blends reduce toxic emissions by up to 50 percent, including smog-producing pollutants and ultra-fine particulates.

Providing a Diversity of Fuel Sources

    •An analysis by the Rhodium Group released in January 2021 found that biofuels are a mainstay for any climate strategy looking to attain net zero emissions by 2050.

    •The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that 80 percent of the vehicle fleet will run on internal combustion engines and that liquid fuels will continue to dominate the sector even by 2050.

Developing New Markets and Applications

    •The development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) using ethanol would result in a significant reduction in carbon emissions compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces.

    •The biofuels industry is incentivizing sustainable agricultural practices to lower carbon emissions and is investing heavily in carbon capture and sequestration, which reduces ethanol’s carbon intensity score by 25 – 30 points (g CO2e/MJ).