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California, the Last State to Hold Out on E15

Forty-nine states – Montana’s the latest – have now allowed the sale of 15 percent corn ethanol blended gasoline. But the biggest state and the nation’s trendsetter in new vehicle emission standards, California, still says ‘no.’

Renewable Fuels Association Senior Vice President for Industry Relations and Market Development Robert White says “E15 was approved by EPA and the first station opened back in 2012. So, we are now almost 12 years into the process of trying to get all the states approved to offer E15, and California remains the last holdout.”

But how can the state that prides itself on such tough auto emission standards refuse consumers a lower-carbon renewable fuel? White says, “They’ve been focused on their low-carbon fuel standard and expanding that, and, of course, their interest in electric vehicles. But, again, they can set whatever goals they want emission-wise, but don’t exclude the liquid fuels from helping out in the interim or the long term, and don’t stop innovation in technology at the same time.”

And until the California fuel policy-setting panel changes its stance, White says “No action by the California Air Resources Board is keeping the fuel price artificially inflated, but at the same time, causing more pollution than is necessary.”

White says ultimately, RFA expects California to become the 50th state to ok E15 sales as an interim step to bring down emissions and the highest gas prices in the nation.

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