E15 Fight to Heat Up After EPA Blending Proposals Announced


The unending fight over summertime use of E15 is about to heat up again, as attention shifts from EPA’s just-announced blending proposals to motorists’ use of higher blends next summer.

The ethanol industry wants to produce and sell more E15, the oil industry wants to sell less. The two have fought each other in the courts, which have ruled against summertime sales of the higher blend.

Now, Renewable Fuels Association chief Geoff Cooper says his industry will refocus attention on the issue. “We had that problem resolved for a couple of years, and then the DC Circuit Court in July overturned that regulation from EPA. So, we’re right back where we started, and we’ve got to figure some other way of alleviating or removing that barrier to E15 in the summertime.”

And nothing is off the table according to Cooper. “We are looking at administrative options…we saw a letter from eight governors, recently, in the Midwest, asking EPA what they can do to remove that barrier in their states.”

A legislative option is also possible, though less likely, given Congress’ focus on much bigger issues for now.

Close to 2,500 stations nationwide were selling E15 this past summer, a five-fold increase from just a few years ago.

The ethanol industry argues ethanol is key to reducing climate pollution and controlling gas prices—up more than 6-percent in the each of the last two months, alone.