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Austin Dillon: The race against climate change

Austin Dillon celebrates after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series 300 mile in March.
Austin Dillon celebrates after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series 300 mile in March. AP

I have been racing cars all of my life. Growing up in the garage, I learned firsthand the incredible amount of preparation, teamwork and determination it takes to succeed. The one thing I have learned in that time is that teams are measured by one thing in NASCAR – performance.

From the crew chief, to the tire changer, to the engineers, everyone on the team ultimately contributes to performance on the track. We rely heavily on each other, but we also depend on key partnerships that ensure that we reach our goals. The fuel we put into our engines is one of the most important contributors to our performance at the track each and every weekend.

Fortunately, NASCAR has been powered by a homegrown bio-fuel since 2011. It’s clean, green and renewable. The best drivers in the world have raced almost 10 million flawless miles on Sunoco Green E15 – proving it’s as good for engines as it is for the environment.

I am so proud that American Ethanol is one of my sponsors, because the American-grown corn used to manufacture ethanol has helped support countless farming communities, and our nation’s economy.

How does this apply to you, the consumer who isn’t driving a race car on a daily basis? Tests by Department of Energy prove that all 21st century engines can run on E15, a higher blend of ethanol, and automakers warranty 15 percent blends for use in nearly three out of four new cars being sold today. Moreover, drivers have surpassed 150 million miles using E15 in the last twelve months. Higher ethanol blended fuels are safe and viable options.

Gasoline retailers and automakers are embracing consumer demand for higher blends of ethanol by increasing the amount of pumps with E15, E85 and other higher blends and designing vehicles to support these higher blends of clean-burning, high-octane biofuels.

However, even with all of this positive momentum at our backs, we are now facing a critical time for our nation. Since 2005, the Renewable Fuel Standard remains the only clean energy policy currently working to lower our dependence on oil, keep our air clean and combat climate change. Right now, preparations are being made to finalize the volume requirements that determine how much renewable fuel oil companies are required to make available to consumers at the pump. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed initial volume requirements that fall short of even the modest goals set into law by Congress.

To guarantee that the current administration doesn’t turn back the clock on America’s most successful energy policy, consumers across the country must make their voices heard now – the deadline is quickly approaching. By July 11, drivers who care about having affordable, green options at the pump should contact the EPA and ask their lawmakers to support a strong Renewable Fuel Standard. It’s easy, just visit www.GrowthEnergy.org/Action to make your voice heard by the EPA.

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