Robert White, Director of Market Development for the Renewable Fuels Association, distributed the comments below following a story in the New York Times regarding E85:
“Recently, many of you have heard stories about E85 sales declining in states like Iowa and Minnesota. Unfortunately, as gasoline demand has fallen off so too has demand for E85, along with economic forces causing some stations to simply close. Despite the drop in demand in a few states, overall E85 demand continues to grow nationwide, thanks in part to RFA’s work to expand E85 and blender pump infrastructure outside the Corn Belt.
“Some long time E85 and ethanol advocates have suggested that price should be the only reason consumers buy E85 and went on to warn consumers to “never, ever, ever buy E85 when it is priced higher than gasoline.” This was seen in today’s NY Times.
“The RFA does not support such a sentiment. Ethanol-blended fuels offer a wide variety of benefits including increased energy security, domestic job creation, cleaner air and a stronger environment, and support for America’s farmers, just to name a few. It is the RFA’s belief that, like all products in the market, consumers should be given a choice and allowed to choose their fuel based on their own values system. As an example, we witnessed only a 33% dip in the Southeast in E85 sales when prices flipped in the past few months. This clearly demonstrated there was more to it than just price. If price is key to some, so be it. But consumers should never be instructed not to buy ethanol, especially from within the ethanol industry.
“The RFA’s Market Development team remains committed to working with gas stations, fuel supplies and automakers to expand E85 and blender pump infrastructure across the country. I encourage all of you to explore our work and newly launched website Choose Ethanol.
If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to let us know.”
Director of Market Development