EPA Releases Ethanol Flex Fuel Rule/(REGS) Rule

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released their proposed rule for Ethanol Flex Fuel and Renewable Enhancement and Growth Support (REGS) Rule. This proposal intends to provide regulatory clarification for ethanol blends from 16 percent to 50 percent ethanol allowing blends such as E30 and E25 to be sold through blender pumps to flex fuel vehicles. The proposal would also limit the amount of sulfur in ethanol flex fuel blendstocks such as natural gasoline used to make ethanol blends to 10 Parts Per Million (PPM). Furthermore, it also makes a number of changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) to allow bio intermediates to facilitate the production of renewable fuel.

In response to today’s proposed rule, Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, issued the following statement:

“While we are reviewing the details of the rule, we are concerned about the impact of this proposal on the hundreds of retailers who are successfully selling E15 in the marketplace today. If this proposed rule is finalized, this regulation would leave E15 as the only ethanol-blended fuel that does not have Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) relief. RVP is the measure of a fuel’s volatility and EPA regulates vapor pressure/RVP to prevent increased ozone or smog from vehicle emissions.

“It is imperative that E15 be given the same volatility treatment as regular E10 gasoline. The current RVP waiver for E10 was granted in 1990, and it is time we update our fuel regulations to match the market realities of the 21st century. E15 burns cleaner, has reduced tailpipe emissions and particulate matter, and reduces smog and other harmful emissions. Growth Energy continues to take the lead on a legislative fix to the RVP issue and will provide significant comments to EPA to ensure that consumers continue to have access to higher blends of ethanol fuels.”

Once the proposal is published in the Federal Register, parties will have 60 days to comment. Growth Energy plans to provide substantive comments on this proposed rule to ensure the availability of ethanol blended fuels to the consumer.

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