Thank you for the opportunity to appear today to support the efforts of the midwestern governors to provide year-round access to E15. My name is Chris Bliley and I am the Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for Growth Energy, the nation’s largest association of biofuel producers representing 91 biorefineries producing nearly 9 billion gallons of low-carbon bioethanol.
I think it would be helpful to give a bit of history on what brings us here today. Since first filing the waiver request to allow the sale of E15 nearly 15 years ago, Growth Energy has been working with EPA, lawmakers, retail partners, consumers, and other stakeholders to provide year-round access to this lowcarbon, lower cost fuel option. As you know, the agency worked hard to finalize a rule in 2019 that provided a national solution to allow year-round access to E15. Unfortunately, seeking to continue their monopoly of American gas tanks, oil interests sued to deny retailer and consumer access to a fuel that just last summer averaged 16 cents less, and in some locations nearly a dollar less per gallon.
Thankfully, this group of midwestern Governors would not be denied and took matters into their own hands to allow year-round sale of E15. By working with the agency to provide detailed emissions data and formally seeking to opt-out of the 1 psi waiver for E10 gasoline nearly a year ago, these Governors are pursuing a permanent path for retailers and consumers in their state to access this higher biofuel E15 blend.
It is inexcusable that this proposal was not issued sooner and made effective for 2023.
Nevertheless, it is vital that EPA finalize this proposal to be effective next summer, and, in the meantime, issue an emergency RVP waiver for 2023, so that E15 will remain available year-round as it has since the summer of 2019. The benefits are clear: if adopted nationally, E15 would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 17 million tons, the equivalent of taking nearly 4 million cars off the road and would save consumers more than $20B in fuel costs while creating nearly 190,000 new jobs.
EPA must finalize this important rule, provide an emergency waiver for this summer, and ignore the smokescreen of claims made by the oil industry to maintain their grip on the American gas tank.
(Statement of Chris Bliley, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Growth Energy, March 21, 2023)