WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the bipartisan Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act was introduced by Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) to ensure the continued availability of low-carbon fifteen percent ethanol fuel blends (E15) in all fuel markets year-round.
On July 2, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a 2019 rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that lifted outdated restrictions on the summertime sale of E15, a cleaner burning fuel approved for 95% of cars on the road. This legislation would permanently extend the 1.0 psi summertime Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to ethanol blends beyond E10, thus eliminating any seasonal restrictions on sales.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor released the following statement applauding the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act:
“We’re grateful our congressional champions acted swiftly on behalf of farmers, biofuel producers, and drivers nationwide to introduce the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act,” said CEO Emily Skor. “The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act would make permanent the RVP waiver for summertime use of higher blends of biofuels, ensuring consumers have year-round access to a lower-carbon, lower-emission renewable fuel that saves money at the pump.
“As this country works to address climate change, we must embrace ready solutions that can be implemented today to immediately reduce our carbon emissions in our current auto fleet. This legislation comes at a critical time on the heels of a court ruling that would allow the oil industry to monopolize the gas tank and push aside low-carbon renewable fuels. We will continue to work with our congressional champions to see this legislation through, and fight to give Americans an opportunity to make a positive impact on the environment by filling up on earth friendly fuel blends like E15.”
In June 2019, the Trump Administration’s EPA revised its interpretation of a provision of the Clean Air Act that grants a 1.0 psi summertime waiver of Reid vapor pressure (RVP) requirements. In doing so, EPA allowed drivers to access cleaner, more affordable biofuel blends like E15 year-round.
On July 2, 2021, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled this interpretation, arguing that the word “contains 10 percent” in the relevant RVP statutory text does not extend the 1.0 psi RVP waiver from E10 to E15, thus limiting sales of E15 in conventional fuel areas during the summer, affecting 85% of current E15 fuel retailers across the country.
The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act would extend the one-pound waiver to fuel blends containing ten percent ethanol “or more”.
E15 is a 15 percent ethanol blended fuel, known to many consumers as Unleaded/Regular 88 (UNL88), that allows drivers to save money at the pump while reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, if the United States transitioned from driving with the standard E10 blend to E15, our national greenhouse gas emissions would decrease by 17.62 million tons per year, which is the equivalent of removing approximately 3.85 million vehicles from the road.
Beyond environmental benefits, moving to nationwide E15 would add $17.8 billion to the GDP, create 182,600 new jobs, save households a total of $10.5 billion, and save $12.2 billion in fuel costs.
This biofuel is currently approved for use in cars model year 2001 and newer and is available at over 2,460 retail sites in 30 states. To date, Americans have logged over 22 billion miles with E15.