WASHINGTON, D.C. – This weekend marks the first anniversary of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rule allowing American drivers to fuel up with E15, a fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol, year-round. The rule, issued on May 31, 2019, lifted summer restrictions and represented the culmination of a decade-long campaign that began with Growth Energy’s 2009 “Green Jobs Waiver” petition, which first opened E15 to all model year 2001 and newer light-duty vehicles.
“COVID-19 may have slowed fuel demand in recent months, but the promise of E15 remains stronger than ever as we mark the first anniversary of year-round sales,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “This was a landmark victory for our members, congressional champions, retail partners, and consumers across the country who fought by our side to lift outdated barriers to higher-octane, lower-carbon fuel options.
“As motorists begin returning to the roads, E15 is poised for rapid growth. In fact, a survey by Pilot Flying J shows that 65 percent of U.S. drivers are reporting big plans for extra summer travel once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. And we already know that customers who try E15 are coming back again and again to take advantage of this more affordable, cleaner fuel. Last summer alone, E15 sales jumped 46 percent on a per-store basis from the previous year thanks to year-round sales.
“The future is even brighter. In just the last 12 months, we’ve seen a surge of interest from Growth Energy’s retail partners who are eager to offer consumers a cleaner, more affordable fuel choice. Nearly 400 new E15 locations have been added over the last year, bringing the total to 2,180, and the retail landscape continues to shift as the number of wholesale terminals offering pre-blended E15 continues to rise from only five in 2017 to nearly 200 today.
“We are also working with the leading retailers, as well as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and lawmakers in Congress, to build on our success with our partner Prime the Pump and turbo-charge the installation of new infrastructure that will bring higher biofuel blends to millions of additional motorists. Taken together, these efforts promise to drive the next wave of growth that will revitalize rural communities and displace more petroleum-based additives that poison our air.”