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As Summer Driving Season Begins, Consumers Continue to Save with Ethanol

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As the summer driving season picks up, consumers will benefit from uninterrupted access to higher ethanol blends at the pump thanks to recent action by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Consumers would have lost the choice of lower-cost, higher blends of ethanol, referred to as E15 and often marketed as Unleaded 88, beginning today; however, EPA is using its authority to maintain consumer access.

South Dakota Corn has praised the development.

“Continued access to higher ethanol blends as summer demand for travel rises not only lowers fuel prices for drivers and increases our domestic fuel supply, but also reduces emissions,” said National Corn Growers Association President Tom Haag. “We appreciate EPA and Administrator Regan for taking this commonsense action. We also appreciate the strong support from USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and bipartisan members of Congress.”

A comparison of pump prices from more than 550 retail stations during the past year shows drivers saved at least 25 cents per gallon with E15. In addition to being lower in carbon emissions, E15 has lower volatility than regular fuel, and using E15 results in lower evaporative and exhaust emissions, which is important during the summer driving season.

Drivers looking for retailers offering E15 and other higher ethanol blends can use the Get Biofuel or E15/E85 Prices online tools to find stations near them or along their summer travel route. E15 is approved for all 2001 and newer vehicles, nearly all vehicles on the road today.

To ensure drivers maintain full market access to the choice of E15, NCGA has called on EPA to finalize a plan developed by Midwest governors that would permanently extend access to E15.