President Donald Trump promised to drain the swamp of unnecessary regulations. He followed through on that promise recently when he directed the Environmental Protection Agency to revise a swampy, antiquated, and bureaucratic regulation that prevents the year-round sale of E15--a gasoline blend containing 15 percent ethanol. Jeff Dunetz’s column on Trump’s directive (“Corn continues to thrive in the swamp” Nov. 7) is misleading. 

Dunetz argues that removing the bureaucratic red tape currently preventing the sale of E15 year-round is somehow bad for the environment, car engines, and American consumers. The facts conclude otherwise on all counts.

E15 is good for the environment. EPA studies have shown that ethanol reduces all criteria pollutants from the tailpipe – carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons that form ozone, and toxins that endanger public health. In addition, as ethanol is produced from renewable feedstocks, it helps to address climate change 

E15 enhances engine performance. There is a reason E15 is the motor fuel used by NASCAR; it is a higher octane and cleaner burning gasoline that enhances performance. E15 is now approved by virtually every automobile manufactured today and EPA has allowed its use for all vehicles sold after 2001. In the more than seven years since the fuel has been approved, there hasn’t been a single reported case of engine damage or consumer misfuelling from E15. 

E15 is good for consumers. Ethanol is significantly less expensive than gasoline. Where E15 is sold, it is typically priced 5 cents lower than the E10 fuel commonly used. Consumers appreciate having access to a higher octane lower priced fuel. 

If air quality, car engines, and consumers are truly Dunetz’s concern, then he should applaud -- not criticize -- the move to make E15 available to consumers year-round. If breaking up Big Oil’s near-monopoly at the pump, allowing consumers to choose the fuel that’s best for them, and expanding consumer access to cleaner fuel options aren’t Mr. Dunetz’s idea of draining the swamp, then I’m afraid to know what is.

Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO
St. Louis, Mo.

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