Monte Shaw from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association is driving a 2006 Jeep Commander with over 98,000 miles on it from Des Moines to Washington DC to demonstrate that any ordinary car can run just fine on e-15 fuel. He stopped in Indianapolis yesterday morning to say that what the oil companies are saying about e-15 is wrong, “Big oil has been misleading policymakers and consumers about e-15.” He told HAT the oil lobby has been saying gasoline containing 15% ethanol will ruin engines and “leave motorists stranded by the side of the road.” Shaw plans to drive the car to Capitol Hill where he will use it to educate lawmakers and the media about the truth about e-15.
But, with the government shutdown, will there be anyone on Capitol Hill to hear his message? Shaw says yes, “We think with the government shut down Congressmen and their staff will have the time to come out and hear our message and even take the car for a drive themselves.” Shaw added that the oil lobby is using political science not real science to concoct false claims about e-15.
Shaw says oil companies have been telling lawmakers that e-15 will harm engines and that consumers will not buy the newly approved fuel blend. But he says the facts say otherwise, “We have about 40 stations nationwide that are selling E-15, and everywhere it is sold the response has been good.” He said consumers, when given a choice, will choose e-15 because it has a much lower cost than e-10, “The issue is market access, the oil companies control much of the access to the fuel market and are preventing E-15 from being offered as an alternative at most stations. “
Currently there are no e-15 stations in Indiana, but Roz Leak with the Indiana Corn Marketing Council is hopeful our first e-15 station may come on-line within a year. Shaw says this is another example of why the RFS is needed: to give ethanol an equal opportunity in the marketplace. Calling his trek Travel for Truth, Shaw says over 40 million miles have been logged by vehicles using e-15 fuel to date, and there have been no reports of any problems.