By Doug Sombke, SDFU President, November 20, 2018
My ears still ring with all the whoopla surrounding the recent decision to lift EPA regulations banning the sale of E15 during summer months.
This is a good first step, right? Well, I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but, for all the excitement surrounding this decision, and many touting this decision as “the best thing since sliced bread,” nothing has come of it.
Infrastructure doesn’t seem to be expanding to make room for a year-round market. And, if you take a look at current ethanol markets, they aren’t responding favorably to the news.
In the meantime, out here in Corn Country, South Dakota, our commodity prices are equally as unaffected.
As we wait and see, South Dakota Farmers Union joins with many asking for the EPA to go further and approve E30. Because, even if infrastructure expands and consumption of E15 goes up, the prediction is that E15 will only boost corn demand by about 300-400 million bushels. Whereas, because E30 is a premium quality fuel, it could result in increased ethanol demand of 15 billion gallons and corn demand of 4 to 5 billion bushels.
Not to mention the fact that because of E30s octane rating, it does not need cancer causing benzene, resulting in additional health benefits.
Five million bushels and eliminating carcinogens from the air … now that’s something to get excited about.