Corn Growers Applaud EPA for Allowing Access to Higher Blends of Ethanol During Summer Months

April 19, 2024

Corn Growers Applaud EPA for Allowing Access to Higher Blends of Ethanol During Summer Months

Apr 19, 2024

Key Issues:Ethanol

Author: Bryan Goodman

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will use its existing authority to prevent drivers from losing access to lower-cost and lower-emission E15, a higher ethanol blend often marketed as Unleaded 88.

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and state corn grower organizations, which have advocated for the move, praised the decision

“This waiver is good news for corn growers and those in rural America who will benefit economically from this decision and for consumers who will save money at the pump during a busy travel season,” said Minnesota farmer and NCGA President Harold Wolle. “We are deeply appreciative of EPA Administrator Regan, President Biden and our congressional allies for all their work on this issue.”

Under current policy, E15 cannot be sold at terminals beginning on May 1 and at retail stations starting on June 1. But the Clean Air Act gives EPA authority to temporarily waive these requirements to address pressing concerns, such as fuel shortages.

The war in Ukraine, disruptions to key trade routes and inflation have raised concerns among many in the Biden administration and in Congress about high gas prices and energy security.

Higher blends of ethanol have been shown to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while lowering the price of fuels and the biofuels reduce America’s need for foreign oil.

In February, EPA approved a petition from eight Midwestern governors allowing their states to sell E15. But since that decision is not effective until summer 2025 and only impacts a handful of states, corn grower leaders had to quickly mobilize and work with EPA to get today’s waiver in motion.

NCGA is working with allies, including the petroleum industry, on federal legislation that would provide permanent, year-round access to E15.