USDA Chief Confident of Ethanol Blend Increase

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack believes that the Environmental Protection agency will increase the amount of ethanol allowed in regular gasoline above the current ten percent.

“I’m very confident that we’re going to see an increase in the blend rate,” said Vilsack in a telephone press conference from Iowa on Friday.

Vilsack also said that long-term extensions of the ethanol subsidies are needed in order to attract private capital to meet the mandate of 36 billion gallons of ethanol production by 2022. “We need a plan. We need to show that there’s a way to get to 36 billion gallons,” he said. “We want to find out how many refineries we need to build, we need to find out what feedstocks need to be advanced in terms of research and development. We need to figure out how to do things more efficiently with our current systems and how we might be able to incent those efficiencies. We need to figure out a distribution system and how many blender pumps are we gonna need and where are they going to be located and how do we get started doing that.”

The secretary says he has a team working on that plan and hopes to have it ready by the end of summer.

8 thoughts on “USDA Chief Confident of Ethanol Blend Increase

  1. This is simple. Basically, you need one 10 Million gallon/yr biorefinery in each county (there are a little more than 3,000 counties in the U.S., and virtually every one can supply the feedstock for a cellulosic ethanol refinery.

    By having 3,000 10 mgpy refineries most feedstock will not need to be transported more than 4 miles (this is important due to the low “density” of cellulosic feedstocks.)

    On top of that we will get about 5 Million gpy from corn cobs, and “Fiberight” says it can do about 10 Million gpy from waste paper, etc from Municipalities.

    Not only will the feedstocks not be transported far, but the “Product” will not require Pipelines, Trains, etc. These amounts can/will be used locally.

    The “key” to the “pump” question is, simply, mandate all cars be flexfuel. The Pumps will follow. This is all so simple that only a government could make it “complicated.”

  2. That should have been 5 Billion gpy from cobs, and 10 Billion gpy from paper, etc.

  3. And there is no better time to mandate all cars to be flex fuel than now, seeing for the foul oil spewing out of the gulf killing everything in its path.

  4. In agreement with above comments. All Ford/GM cars sold in Brazil are flex fuel; nothing technologically prevents from doing it on US soil; and financially its only $100 more per car – mute point. Blender pumps capable of proportional gas/ethanol mix between 1% and 99% are all over Brazil. However it takes UL more than two years to approve the first one in US – what’s wrong with these testing guys?? THe sticking point is still an infrastructure where more fuel storage farms would have to be made ethanol-compliant, however this is a business-driven process.
    I do not even see a need for a government mandate to have all new cars being flex-fuel. All it takes, in my view, is by EPA/DOE/DOT to mandate an availability of 10-85% blends of ethanol at every pump (on a roll out schedule) much like MTBE bans were effected or Clean Air act was enforced. The car industry will be drawn by economics to follow.

  5. i agree with kum dollison & joseph —There is NO better time to mandate ALL cars to be flex fuel than NOW !!!

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