WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released its proposed rule that would allow E15, a fuel blend with 15 percent ethanol, to be sold year-round. Growth Energy, the nation’s leading advocate for ethanol, welcomed the proposal as a critical step toward providing consumers with uninterrupted access to a cleaner, lower-cost option at the fuel pump, but also cautioned against any changes to the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market that could undercut investment in delivering higher ethanol blends.
“This rule is a critical milestone for rural Americans who make renewable biofuels and for all American drivers, who may soon have a cleaner, more affordable, higher-octane fuel all year long,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We are still reviewing details of the proposal, and we look forward to working with the EPA to ensure that any changes – particularly in the RIN market – do not upend the marketplace, and continue to encourage investment in E15 and other higher ethanol blends. We appreciate the administration’s efforts to fulfill the president’s promise and will continue in our commitment to making the environmental and economic benefits of E15 available to consumers nationwide.”
The EPA announcement follows a decade of efforts by Growth Energy to expand consumer access to E15, most recently through the E15 Now campaign, which promoted the administration’s commitment to year-round sales of E15. The proposed rule would provide relief to over 1,700 retail stations across 30 states that now sell E15, often for only eight months out of the year, and remove a key regulatory barrier for other retailers seeking to offer a lower-cost, higher-octane option to customers.
The proposed rule would lift a nearly thirty-year-old limitation on E15, which restricts sales between June 1 and September 15, and today’s announcement from EPA marks the first step in the rulemaking process. The EPA has committed to completing the rulemaking process by June 1, 2019, the start of the summer driving season. Before finalizing the rule, the agency will now accept comments from biofuel producers, farmers, and numerous other stakeholders.