It’s Christmas time! In what has become a yearly tradition, I’d like to share the things that Illinois Corn wants for Christmas! Here we go …
4. INCENTIVES FOR E15
Ethanol market opportunities are top of mind right now – farmers are faced with a threat that we might lose a significant portion of that market and if that comes true, the future for the market looks less certain. Re-visit the number one item on our list for more information about that …
Understanding the blend wall is also imperative to this Christmas wish list item. The blend wall is the point where we’ve blended 10 percent ethanol into every gallon of gasoline purchased and there’s no way to use more ethanol as the Renewable Fuel Standard dictates. Breaking through the blend wall is one reason why selling higher blends of ethanol is so important for corn farmers.
One more background piece of information – farmers are growing more and more corn. Without market opportunities that are increasing, we just continue to have more and more corn laying around with no way to use it all. That decreases prices and keeps farmers relying on the government to make ends meet. It’s not a good situation.
So, E15, a 15 percent blend of ethanol into gasoline, is one way to use more ethanol and allow the ethanol industry to keep growing. And although I’ve focused all about the motivation and economics behind this push for the farmers and the ag industry, it also benefits non-farm Americans.
Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline so using more of a cheaper fuel will ultimately reduce fuel prices. Ethanol is created here at home and eliminates more imported barrels of oil. Ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline, so a higher blend of ethanol eliminates some additional yucky stuff going into the air.
Right now, Illinois Corn is working on a piece of legislation in the Illinois General Assembly that would move the incentive to sell E10 to selling E15. Basically, we’d update the legislation so that retailers were provided incentives to sell E15 instead. Because we’re already selling almost 100 percent E10, this make sense to keep us always moving forward to accomplishing our environmental and energy security goals.
We would also reduce the incentive a little, freeing up some money to remain in the Illinois treasury. I don’t know if you pay much attention to Illinois politics, but we have a horrible credit rating and could really use additional money in the budget. Farmers are trying to offer a way to be a part of that solution.
The bill hasn’t moved forward, but for Christmas, we’d love for the General Assembly to pass that legislation. It’s a common sense bill that benefits farmers and the ag economy that Illinois stands on, but also makes a LOT of sense for non-farm Illinois citizens.