(Posted Fri. Jun 1st, 2018)
Consumers across the country will lose access to the option of E15 today, just as families plan to hit the road on summer vacation and gas prices are on the rise. Despite President Trump’s repeated commitment to year-round E15, an outdated regulatory barrier still limits the ability of fuel retailers to offer ethanol blends greater than 10 percent in most of the country from June 1 to September 15.
The National Corn Growers Association is urging the Environmental Protection Agency to expeditiously take steps to remove this barrier and allow for year-round sales of ethanol blends greater than 10 percent, such as E15.
“E15 is typically more affordable at the pump and is better for the environment,” said NCGA President Kevin Skunes. “There is no good reason to limit access to E15 in the summer, which is an especially busy time for families making more stops to refuel.”
Federal law and regulations limit the amount of evaporative emissions from vehicle fuel, which is measured by its Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP). Fuels blended with up to 10 percent ethanol have a one-pound RVP waiver because ethanol-blended fuels reduce tailpipe emissions. To date, EPA has declined to grant a similar waiver to E15, even though research shows E15 produces the same or fewer evaporative emissions as E10. E15 is currently sold at more than 1300 stations in 29 states.
At a May 8 White House meeting, President Trump reaffirmed his commitment to providing RVP parity for E15 and allowing consumers to have more choice at the pump year-round. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however, has yet to announce the necessary regulatory steps to make this a reality. NCGA believes EPA should address the RVP regulatory barrier separately and should not combine the agreed-upon RVP fix with proposals damaging to our export markets such as offering biofuels credits on ethanol exports.