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Legislation Would Boost Fuel Choices

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The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act was introduced recently in both the Senate and House of Representatives. It is designed to extend the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to gasolines blended with 15 percent ethanol. This would give retailers the opportunity to offer E15 without restriction from June 1 to September 15. “The introduction of this legislation is the first step toward eradicating an unnecessary Environmental Protection Agency restriction that limits consumer choice at the pump during the peak time of year when Americans are on the road,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. RVP is a measure of how quickly fuel evaporates. The EPA regulates it to prevent increased ozone or smog from emissions.

Congress granted a waiver to E10 fuel blends because it reduces tailpipe emissions. Congress has not given the same waiver to E15 as it did to E10, even though the 15 percent blended fuel is less volatile than E10. As a result, retailers are prevented from selling E15 for use in 2001 and newer vehicles from June 1 through September 15, despite the EPA approving its use.