V4E Letter to Chicago Mayor Emanuel

May 1, 2015

The Honorable Rahm Emanuel
Mayor of Chicago
121 N LaSalle Street
Chicago City Hall 4th Floor
Chicago, IL 60602

Dear Mayor Emanuel,

Vets4Energy, a nationwide volunteer organization, would like to follow-up on a letter that we
previously sent on October 13, 2014 to voice our opposition to any mandate that would
require Chicago gas stations to sell fuel with ethanol levels higher than 10 percent, such as
E15. This would be a harmful mandate that could economically hurt our city and our state,
and worse, set a dangerous precedent that could have a negative impact across the nation.

Contrary to what many would have you to believe, the implementation of E15 will not protect
our nation nor the lives of our military servicemen; nor will it guarantee clean air, improve our
environment nor benefit all business owners.

Two of the surest ways to protect our nation and our military are to improve our nation’s
economy and to maintain our strong position as a global energy producer and superpower.
Our newfound energy abundance as the world’s leading oil and natural gas producer is
already giving us these protections. With our growing supplies of oil, both onshore and
offshore, we are decreasing our reliance on those who seek to harm us, and we are shielding
ourselves from instability that is occurring in other parts of the world. Thus, to maintain the
security of our nation and our military, we must continue to make good policy decisions that
secure our energy and strengthen our economy.

In contrast, any proposal that puts our energy and economic security at risk jeopardizes our
national security. An E15 mandate in Chicago is an example of this type of detrimental policy.
This mandate not only has the potential to cause economic hardship for business owners and
consumers in Chicago – and Illinois – but if this mandate were to be implemented across the
United States, it could have negative repercussions on our nation’s economy.

First, the costs associated with implementing the E15 infrastructure, which could be upwards
of $125,000, could put fuel station owners out of businesses. This would not only hurt these
small business owners, but also the thousands of people that they employ and whose families
depend on that paycheck. Secondly, since ethanol has significantly lower fuel economy
than gasoline, consumers would require more trips to fuel their car, negating any perceived
energy or cost savings of using E15.

Additionally, E15 tests have demonstrated that this fuel could damage car engines, which
could increase car maintenance costs; and if E15 is accidentally used in an engine not
designed to use E15, it could destroy the engine. This latter applies to equipment and
vehicles used throughout the city and state, such as snow blowers, leaf blowers, lawn
mowers, motorcycles, boats, and the list goes on. As an owner of a tree and landscape
company, all of our small equipment could be significantly damaged and reduce the
equipment’s useful life by as much as 80%. My company and others like it would not be able
to absorb these costs. The price increases that could follow would hurt consumers and
ultimately cost jobs. Finally, the use of ethanol has already driven up the price of food,
because corn crops have been diverted from food and feed to fuel. Increasing the use of
corn for ethanol could drive those prices higher. Not only would consumers feel the weight of
these higher costs, but so would charitable organizations who are already trying to feed the
hungry with tight budgets.

Compound the use of E15 across the nation, and the negative economic effects that I have
outlined above for all Americans would be astounding.

And contrary to what many contend, the move to E15 does not offer any environmental
benefits. In fact, increased levels of corn ethanol can actually harm the environment by
increasing greenhouse gas levels and polluting our water, according to experts such as the
National Academy of Sciences, the EPA’s Clean Air Task Force and the USDA.

Vets4Energy supports reasonable policies which improve our nation’s environment and
America’s economic, energy and national security, but an E15 mandate is not such a policy.
Being the first locality in the nation to implement a mandate with detrimental economic
consequences is not a prudent policy move. We join a broad coalition of supporters to ask
that you prevent an E15 mandate – or any proposal to increase corn ethanol levels.

Respectfully yours,
Keith Pekau, Director, Illinois Vets4Energy

cc:
Alderman Joe Moreno
Alderman Robert Fioretti
Alderman Pat Dowell
Alderman William Burns
Alderman Leslie Hairston
Alderman Roderick Sawyer
Alderman Natashia Holmes
Alderman Michelle Harris
Alderman Anthony Beale
Alderman John Pope
Alderman James Balcer
Alderman George A. Cardenas
Alderman Marty Quinn
Alderman Ed Burke
Alderman Toni Foulkes
Alderman JoAnn Thompson
Alderman Latasha Thomas
Alderman Lona Lane
AmericasEnergyForum.com
Alderman Matthew O’Shea
Alderman Willie B. Cochran
Alderman Howard Brookins Jr.
Alderman Ricardo Munoz
Alderman Michael Zalewski
Alderman Michael Chandler
Alderman Daniel Solis
Alderman Roberto Maldonado
Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr.
Alderman Jason Ervin
Alderman Deborah Graham
Alderman Ariel E. Reboyras
Alderman Ray Suarez
Alderman Scott Waguespack
Alderman Deborah Mell
Alderman Carrie Austin
Alderman Rey Colon
Alderman Nicholas Sposato
Alderman Emma Mitts
Alderman Timothy M. Cullerton
Alderman Margaret Laurino
Alderman Patrick J. O'Connor
Alderman Mary O’Connor
Alderman Brendan Reilly
Alderman Michele Smith
Alderman Thomas M. Tunney
Alderman John Arena
Alderman James Cappleman
Alderman Ameya Pawar
Alderman Harry Osterman
Alderman Joseph A. Moore
Alderman Debra Silverstein

<- Go Back

Give Us Your Thoughts