EPA proposes year-round sale of E15, ethanol industry responds

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The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will be allowing the year-round sale of E15, a 15% ethanol blend mix of gasoline.

“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing regulatory changes to allow gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol to take advantage of the 1-pound per square inch (psi) Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that currently applies to E10 during the summer months,” the EPA stated.

“EPA is also proposing an interpretive rulemaking which defines gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol as “substantially similar” to the fuel used to certify Tier 3 motor vehicles.”

Ethanol trade association Growth Energy shared its ‘welcoming’ of the proposal, but also outlined a warning towards any changes to the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market.

In February, Biofuels International reported that senators representing states with major oil refineries had issued a warning to EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler if changes were not made to the RIN credit market, they would not support his bid to become administrator of the EPA, as costs to the oil industry had been increased as a result of speculation.

“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.”