The EPA announced Friday morning that they have met the deadline for the summer driving season to allow year-round sales of E15, a fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol.
“Corn farmers have been long-time advocates of higher blends of ethanol such as E15, touting its benefits to both the farmer and the consumer,” NCGA President Lynn Chrisp said. “Farmers are facing some tough times which makes this announcement particularly welcome. We thank President Trump for following through on his promise to rural America and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and supporters in Congress for their outspoken commitment to year-round E15.”
Listen for comments from Indiana corn grower Mike Beard:Beard-on-e15-year-round
The final rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) eliminates the outdated barrier that required retailers in many areas of the country to stop selling E15 during the summer months by allowing E15 to receive the same summer volatility adjustment EPA permits for E10.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said, ““With year-round E15, retailers will have the regulatory certainty they need to offer American drivers a cleaner, more affordable fuel choice throughout the year. This action also means savings for American motorists at the pump and a sorely needed market for farmers who are facing a devastating economic downturn. We estimate this one change will generate over a billion new gallons of ethanol demand in the next five years. Over time, demand for E15 could boost the market for American grain by an additional two billion bushels.”
American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings praised the EPA for getting this across the finish line while also calling for an end to unnecessary small refinery exemptions.
“We’re also grateful EPA considered the comments ACE and many others made in opposition to sweeping and unnecessary reforms to the way RIN credits are handled under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Had EPA gone forward with the so-called RIN reforms, it would have dulled the upside benefit of E15 year-round,” Jennings said. He added, “…as we have repeatedly cautioned, EPA’s ongoing mismanagement of the RFS through blanket small refinery exemptions (SREs) needs to stop. The net effect of E15 year-round with 2.61 billion gallons worth of SREs that aren’t reallocated means we’re still in the hole when it comes to ethanol demand through the RFS. EPA is currently sitting on nearly 40 requests for refinery waivers from the 2018 compliance year. We discourage EPA from erasing any benefit of today’s rule by granting more waivers at a time when rural America can least afford it.”
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper is calling on President Trump to step in on the SREs, saying, “We are cognizant that the promise of today’s E15 announcement could be undermined if EPA continues its unprecedented assault on the RFS with indiscriminate small refinery hardship waivers. Against the intent of Congress, EPA has been granting RFS exemptions to refiners without requiring them to demonstrate their claimed ‘hardship’ is somehow connected to the RFS. The demand destruction caused by EPA’s waivers must end. We urge the President to build upon the momentum of today’s announcement by reining in EPA’s abuse of the small refiner exemption program.”
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue also weighed in by issuing the following release:
“I appreciate President Trump’s steadfast support for our patriotic farmers and for his commitment to expand the sale of E15 and unleash the full potential of American innovation and ingenuity as we continue to demonstrate our rightful place as the world’s leader in agricultural and energy production,” said Secretary Sonny Perdue. “This move to approve the year-round use of E15 in time for the summer driving season provides consumers with more choices when they fill up at the pump, driving demand for our farmers and improving the air we breathe. While the Trump Administration and USDA are expanding the ethanol market in the United States, we continue to fight for more export markets in Brazil, Mexico, China, and other countries across the globe. I applaud Administrator Andrew Wheeler for moving expeditiously to finalize this important E15 rule.”