Ethanol is a big deal everywhere corn is a big deal, so the industry is pushing to put more of it in our gas tanks. Rich Ruebe, chief executive of Itasca-based GTL Resources, speaks for his industry when he says Illinois should cancel the sales tax exemption for the 10 percent ethanol blend and create one for a 15 percent blend.
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Ruebe, whose company includes Illinois River Energy in Rochelle, says, “E-15, vs. E-10, offers the consumer another choice for an alternative fuel that’s safe in their car. The higher ethanol blend, the more performance you’re going to get out of the gasoline, and, overall, the more energy-independent America can become.”
But it’s not that simple. “Many auto manufacturers have already said that their warranties are not going to cover fuel-related claims due to the use of E-15,” says Beth Mosher of the Aurora-based Triple-A Chicago Motor Club. She says only 5 percent of the light-duty vehicles on the road today are assured of safely using E-15.