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Expansion of E15 fuel seen as a win or Illinois corn farmers

Some oil refiners have argued that allowing E15 in just select states instead of nationwide could lead to fuel price spikes and supply issues.

Published: February 26, 2024 5:33pm

(The Center Square) -

Illinois corn farmers stand to benefit from the recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to allow year round sales of E15 fuel.

In 2022, the governors of Illinois and several other Midwest states requested year-round E15 sales in an effort to lower gas prices. E15 is a 15% blend of ethanol to petroleum fuel and is also known as Unleaded 88.

Mike Shane with the Illinois Corn Growers Association said the ruling will give a huge boost in the use of ethanol.

“It’s a 50% increase for us which is a pretty large increase for the usage of corn,” said Shane. “It should increase the demand for corn and help alleviate the extra supplies of corn right now.”

Despite E15 having a lower Reid vapor pressure than most fuel on the market, the ICGA said outdated regulations excluded it from being sold during summer months

The use of E15 was approved by the EPA in 2011 for all 2001 and newer vehicles, accounting for more than 96% of vehicles on the road today.

Shane said Illinoisans will save money when they fill up.

“E15 is a cheaper product than straight gasoline so the consumer is going to drive the demand wanting cheaper gasoline at the pump,” said Shane.

Some oil refiners have argued that allowing E15 in just select states instead of nationwide could lead to fuel price spikes and supply issues.

The ruling goes into effect in April of next year. It is not known if the EPA will grant waivers to states for the use of E15 this summer.

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