by Ken Root
Half the states and Washington D.C. have broken through the so-called “E-10 blend wall,” according to recent data from the U.S. Energy Department.
25-states have smashed through the blend wall of E-10 market saturation, consuming more than 10-percent ethanol on average in 2015.
Ethanol made up 12.5% of the gasoline pool in Minnesota and 11.5% in Iowa, along with 10 percent in Illinois, according to Energy Department figures. Last year’s national average ethanol blend rate was a hair over 9.9%, undermining legislative efforts by some to reduce it to 9.7%.
Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen says more recently, the average has been over ten percent. “We blended 10.4% ethanol into gasoline. I believe that lays bare this argument about the blend wall. The fact that oil companies out there are saying that they can’t possibly blend more than 9.7% ethanol. Well, in fact, you are,” Dinneen said.
Longtime ethanol supporter and Republican Senator Chuck Grassley argues the blend wall argument is being used by ethanol opponents to halt the fuel’s growth.
Meanwhile, Grassley vows to press President-elect Donald Trump’s oil state nominees: Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt for the EPA and former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head Energy, on their views on renewable fuels.