Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance: Sensenbrenner legislation would halt environmental, economic gains of E15

Contact: Joshua Morby 414.791.9120

Milwaukee, Wis. – Legislation introduced Wednesday by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner would block EPA approval of E15 usage, harming Wisconsin’s economy and the environment, the Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance (WBIA) said.

“Study after study has shown that blends of up to 15 percent ethanol are safe, environmentally friendly, and economically beneficial, particularly in Wisconsin,” said Joshua Morby, Executive Director of the WBIA. “Suggesting that EPA approval of E15 is ‘premature’ is not only disingenuous, but harmful to our state.”

Over the past few years, multiple studies have been done to examine the effects of E15 on engines. Among those studies is one conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy that concluded there were no significant changes in vehicle drivability when E15 was used instead of traditional gasoline. In fact, the fuel is so safe that NASCAR has begun using E15 in three of its national touring seasons events this year.

Another study by North Dakota State University last year outlined the positive effects E15 would have on the nation’s economy, including creating 136,000 new jobs and generating an additional $24.4 billion in economic activity. The use of E15 would also displace nearly 7 billion gallons of gasoline from imported oil.

Wisconsin, which currently ranks eighth in the nation in terms of ethanol production capacity at roughly 500 million gallons per year, stands to benefit significantly from increased usage of the fuel.

Using E15 instead of unleaded gasoline would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an additional eight million tons per year, based on a study published in Yale University’s Journal of Industrial Ecology.

“The benefits of E15 are obvious, and based on the economic and environmental benefits of the fuel, we can’t afford to halt its approval, particularly in this difficult economy,” Morby said. “I urge members of Congress to reject this legislation and allow the approval to move forward.”

The Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance is a diverse group of businesses, environmental groups, and statewide and local organizations that have come together to build both public and legislative awareness of the Bio Industry in Wisconsin.

For more information about the Alliance, or to find out how to join, please visit our website: http://www.wisconsinbioindustry.com.