At a public hearing held by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Michigan, US, heads of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy urged action on a proposal to allow the year-round use of E15 fuel.
The ‘Modifications to Fuel Regulations to Provide Flexibility for E15’ proposal would remove a nearly 30-year-old restriction on E15, which limits sale of the 15% ethanol blended fuel to the period between 1 June and 15 September.
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor emphasised the economic and environmental benefits of E15: “For motorists, the value proposition of E15 is clear. Drivers typically save up to 10 cents per gallon, while E15’s superior octane rating provides better engine performance.
“The value to our planet is equally compelling. E15 is a cleaner fuel that reduces evaporative emissions and greenhouse gas emissions. It replaces toxic fuel additives associated with cancer, asthma, and smog.”
RFA president and CEO Geoff Cooper urged the agency to finalise the proposal: “We strongly support EPA’s proposal allowing E15 to take advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that currently applies to E10 during the summer months.
“Extending the 1-psi RVP waiver to E15 during the summer volatility control season will open the marketplace to a fuel that provides consumers higher octane, lower cost, and reduced tailpipe emissions.
“We firmly endorse EPA’s proposal to interpret section 211(h)(4) of the Clean Air Act as being applicable to ethanol blend containing at least 10% ethanol, including E15, and we believe EPA’s justification for this interpretation is well supported by the statutory text and Congressional intent.”
Skor added: “With year-round E15, EPA has the opportunity to give American farmers and producers the ability to grow greater demand and expand market access for their homegrown fuel.”
The EPA is expected to reach a decision on the legislation by 1 June 2019.