Summer sales of E15 approved
On April 29, President Joe Biden announced the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an emergency fuel waiver to temporarily allow summer sales of E15 gasoline – a 15 percent ethanol blend – which will increase fuel supply and provide Americans with more choices at the gas pump.
Biden made this announcement at an ethanol plant in Menlo, Iowa, about 50 miles west of Des Moines, Iowa – the country’s leader in corn production, and therefore, vital to biofuel.
According to EPA’s April 29 press release, the waiver is a critical step in the Biden administration’s promise to take action to protect Americans from supply crises by reducing reliance on fossil fuels, building U.S. energy independence, supporting the nation’s agriculture and manufacturing industries and accelerating the transition to clean energy.
Extending the RVP waiver
EPA notes E15 cannot currently be sold from terminals as of May 1 and at retail stations as of June 1.
However, by extending the one-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver, which currently applies to E10-E15 gasoline, E15 sales will be available through the summer driving season in certain areas.
According to EPA, this action only extends the waiver to E15 in parts of the country where it already exists for E10, since E15 can already be sold year-round in parts of the country with a reformulated gasoline (RFG) program.
States with an RFG program include California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Texas and Wisconsin.
For the rest of the nation, the EPA waiver went into effect on May 1 and will last for a statutory maximum of 20 days.
“EPA will continue to monitor the supply with industry and federal partners, and the agency expects to issue new waivers effectively extending the emergency fuel waiver until such time as the extreme and unusual fuel supply circumstances due to the war in Ukraine are no longer present,” the press release states.
Impact of war
EPA Administrator Michael Regan and President Biden note this action came in response to impacts felt from the war between Ukraine and Russia.
“This action is being taken to counteract Russia’s unjustified, unprovoked and unconscionable war against Ukraine and the profound impact on global and domestic energy markets,” reads the EPA press release. “EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have been actively monitoring market supply disruptions caused by Russia’s war in Ukraine.”
“President Biden and this administration are committed to protecting American consumers from the impacts of Russia’s unprovoked attack against Ukraine,” says Regan. “Putin’s war has had a profound impact on global and domestic energy markets.”
“In consultation with DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm, I have concluded it is necessary to take action to allow E15 sales during the summer driving season in order to minimize and prevent disruption of summertime fuel supply to consumers,” he adds.
Several individuals, businesses and organizations have expressed their praise and approval for the extended waiver.
National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington comments, “Corn growers thank President Biden for ensuring drivers continue to have access to a lower-cost fuel choice and for acknowledging how renewable ethanol helps reduce prices, lower emissions and improve our nation’s energy security. Farmers are proud to contribute to cleaner, less expensive fuel choices.”
Emily Skor, chief executive officer (CEO) of Growth Energy, a lobbying group founded by POET CEO Jeff Broin, says, “This is welcome news for all American drivers seeking lower cost options at the pump. Lifting outdated and unnecessary summertime restrictions on E15 will ensure continued access to a fuel which has been saving drivers as much as 50 to 60 cents a gallon in recent weeks, offering working families relief at the pump at a time when they need it most.”
“Not only is this decision a major win for American drivers and our nation’s energy security, it means cleaner options at the pump and a stronger rural economy. American biofuels, like ethanol, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent compared to regular gasoline and are key to achieving the nation’s climate goals,” she continues.
U.S. Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst (both R-IA) offered their support on Twitter.
“Seeing reports EPA will issue a last minute waiver to allow E15 for summer driving, which is common sense and about time, since consumers can save money at the pump with higher blends of ethanol as gas prices continue to rise,” says Grassley.
Ernst tweets, “After months of pressure on the Biden administration to act on E15, I’m proud to see our hard work pay off. Next step: let’s stop relying on emergency waivers and make this permanent.”
Hannah Bugas is the managing editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to email@example.com.