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SD Ethanol Company Presses Congressional Leaders to Move on E30

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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A South Dakota ethanol company asked the state's congressional delegation to press the EPA to conduct an analysis of E30. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- A South Dakota ethanol company asked the state's congressional delegation to work toward creating a pathway to allow for the sale of E30 nationally, as two Midwest governors reportedly are working on a policy to require state vehicle fleets to run on the 30% ethanol, 70% gasoline blend.

In an April 22, 2022, letter to South Dakota Sens. Mike Rounds and John Thune, and Rep. Dusty Johnson, Glacial Lakes Energy, LLC, CEO James A. Seurer asked the delegation to continue pressing the EPA to consider the future of higher ethanol blends like E30.

In addition, Seurer indicated in the letter South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts are working with Glacial Lakes to "coordinate an announcement to have state vehicles use E30."

In March 2021, Ricketts announced the results of a demonstration project conducted by the University of Nebraska, that found E30 blends was safe for long-time use in non-flexible fuel vehicles,….

According to Seurer's letter, the South Dakota delegation requested EPA to conduct an analysis on E30.

"As verified by DOE's National Renewable Energy Lab, 30% ethanol reduces vapor pressure to the point where an allowance is not needed," the letter said.

"Our E30 challenge here in South Dakota has resulted in 200 million trouble-free miles of operation in conventional, non-flex vehicles. Our neighbors in Nebraska have completed a state-sponsored E30 test and demonstration program that indicated no negative performance or wear issues."

Seurer said E30 is outselling "all other grades combined" at "certain stations" in Wichita, Kansas.

In addition, he said NASCAR tested E30 and plans to "use E30 in next season's racing.

"With E10 being the EPA certification fuel, there is no legal prohibition to using blends this high, yet EPA persists in blocking its use," the letter said.

"Barriers and regulatory obstacles by EPA to increased ethanol use include faulty, out of date modeling, and a failure to accurately assess the costs and benefits of such an aggressive ethanol program. We are asking you to demand that EPA quickly conduct a cost-benefit analysis of instituting a 30% ethanol program.

"If done properly, such an analysis would clearly show the benefits, including not just cost reductions but substantial health benefits from reduced respiratory and even neurological problems by replacing toxic, carcinogenic compounds used to increase octane."

Last week, the EPA granted a formal emergency waiver to allow for E15 sales this summer. In addition, eight states petitioned the EPA last week to begin a formal rulemaking process to allow for permanent year-round E15 sales in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Read more on DTN:

"Eight States Petition EPA on E15 Change,"…

"EPA Grants E15 Emergency Waiver for '22,"…

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