Behind the Blend Wall

Published on: 14:10PM Dec 01, 2009
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today it is preparing to raise the limit on ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15%, effectively breaking down a blend wall that has stymied ethanol demand and growth. The approval is contingent on completion of final testing by early next year.
As the blend wall crumbles, expect to see the powerful ethanol industry group Growth Energy standing behind it. The lobbying organization has been pushing to break the blend wall for well over a year now. As Tom Buis, president of Growth Energy has said: "We made the case."
Growth Energy employs such powerhouse figures as former four-star Gen. Wesley Clark, and is supported by POET, the world’s largest ethanol producer, along with 54 member ethanol plants. At the same time, Growth Energy is grassroots, working through its web site to encourage new “friends” of ethanol.
One of my favorite thing about Growth Energy is its Truth Squad, a group of people engaged in responding to blogs that hate on ethanol. Growth Energy has provided a list of blogs for followers to watch and reply to, and Truth Squad members are urged to keep their replies “civil and factual” and based on science and research.

Gen. Clark and Growth Energy may have started tearing down the blend wall, but make no mistake there are bigger battles ahead in the Washington lobbying war for ethanol.