The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed regulatory changes Tuesday that would allow gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) to receive a Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver for the summer months, the same as E10. In the same rule, EPA is also proposing changes to the renewable identification number (RIN) compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program.”
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper says the proposed rule means EPA is one step closer to making good on President Trump’s promise to allow year-round sales of E15 but finalizing and implementing the E15 regulatory fix remains a tall order.
“That is why we have urged EPA to separate the year-round E15 provisions from the RIN reform provisions, and move forward as quickly as possible to finalize a practical and defensible year-round E15 solution. With ethanol plants shutting down or idling and farmers experiencing the worst conditions in more than a decade, removing the summertime ban on E15 once and for all would send a desperately needed signal to the marketplace,” said Cooper. “We are carefully reviewing the details of the proposed rule and look forward to providing EPA with extensive technical and legal comments to support an expeditious and legally sound resolution of this decades-old red tape barrier.”
Cooper talks more about RFA’s reaction to the rule in this interview:
Interview with RFA CEO Geoff Cooper on EPA rulemaking proposal
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings says they will urge stakeholders to provide public comment to EPA, so a legally-defensible rule can be in place by June 1. “Without a final rule in place by June 1, this year would mark the eighth time, since EPA originally approved a waiver for E15, that fuel marketers in many parts of the country have had to prohibit their customers from purchasing a lower-cost, higher-quality fuel option at the pump during the busy summer driving months,” said Jennings.
Jennings says if EPA does get the rule done in time, it will set a new “land speed record for the agency.” In this interview, Jennings discusses his reaction to the proposal and how ACE intends to provide input and encourage especially retailers to make comments.
Interview with ACE CEO Brian Jennings on EPA rulemaking proposal
A public hearing is being scheduled for March 29 and comments must be received on or before April 29.
Other agricultural and biofuels organizations have weighed in on the proposal and expressed support for at least the E15 part of the rule. National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), Growth Energy, American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), and National Farmers Union are just a few of the groups that have released statements in support of the rule.