WASHINGTON — Following a memorial service held [in early June] for long time ethanol supporter and pioneer Orrie Swayze, his legacy of promoting higher blends of ethanol to protect public health and support American Agriculture was praised by friends, family, and colleagues.
Swayze spent more than four decades promoting the use of home-grown ethanol both as a hedge against reliance on imported oil and later as a tool to protect public health. An early supporter of South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle’s Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS), he was tireless in his efforts to advance American agriculture.
As the RFS matured and ethanol captured 10% of the gasoline market, Swayze looked beyond those limits and led the fight for E30 which is currently recognized as the optimum blend level to reduce the toxic compounds in gasoline. He argued E30 provides clean, economic octane and has been successfully demonstrated and tested through the Glacial Lakes Energy E30 challenge as well as state fleet use in Nebraska.
In a new interview with Ag Week, Senator Daschle shared how he is working with several groups to convince the Biden Administration to transition the U.S. gasoline pool from its current 10% ethanol blend to nationwide E30 over the next 10 years. Daschle Chairs the High Octane Low Carbon Alliance (HOLCA) which is focused on the opportunity presented by the revision of fuel economy standards that will require increased mileage and lower carbon—a challenge they argue ethanol can meet.
Daschle said he sees new opportunity in a new administration to advance Swayze’s hopes and dreams for ethanol, telling Ag Week “If you want to help agriculture, if you want to help the country, if you want to deal with the environment, if you want to recognize the inevitable around EVs (electric vehicles) then high-octane, low carbon fuels is the only solution. It has to be the regulatory solution because in large measure that is the realistic lay of the land in Washington today.”
Daschle sees E30 and the concept of high-octane, low carbon .. as a “segue to the EV world we know is coming,” he said.
“For the foreseeable future, and I would say several decades yet to come — the internal combustion engine is still going to play a role and will be part of the transportation landscape,” he said. “We see E30 and high-octane, low carbon fuel as a segue fuel, a segue to EVs. The more we can adapt, as early as possible, to the recognition of the need for segue fuels, eliminating aromatics, greenhouse gases, ultrafine particles, the more we can meet the administration’s objectives and aspirations for dealing with the environmental and health questions we’re now facing.”
Many ethanol industry supporters credit Swayze for his early recognition of ethanol’s ability to replace aromatics and the toxic compounds in gasoline, which Daschle noted. “We know that fine particulate matter and aromatics are just as bad for us as lead was in the 1980s. We have to recognize that there is a real health threat to minority communities in particular that we think ethanol can address effectively if we make this ‘segue’ fuel the reality as soon as possible,” he said.
The health issues are so compelling according to Daschle that the policy priority that drives ethanol may have to move away from the RFS with a greater focus on health. “We’ve got to phase out aromatics. And there is no substitute for aromatics that is able to address health and environment as much as E30.”
CFDC member Jim Seurer of Glacial Lakes Energy in South Dakota said “Orrie Swayze was a tireless, fearless supporter and he will be missed. But we are determined to fulfill his dream and work to position ethanol as the clean fuel the country needs right now. We support the work of the High Octane Low Carbon Alliance and the revision of our fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards to include higher blends like E30.”
For Further Information on the SAFE Rule, or the High Octane Low Carbon Alliance, Contact: Doug Durante@email@example.com.
— South Dakota Farmers Union
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