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EPA Announces Summertime Waiver for E-15 Gasoline

(WASHINGTON D.C.) — As rumored on social media this week, the Environmental Protection Agency and White House on Friday announced an emergency waiver to allow the sales of summertime E-15 gasoline, ending uncertainty for drivers and the industry as we near the summer driving season.

Multiple agriculture groups have been voicing their concerns for weeks to the EPA that an emergency waiver was needed to continue sales of E-15 for this upcoming driving season and many of those groups are thanking EPA and the Biden Administration on Friday.

“We commend EPA Administrator Regan, Secretary Vilsack, and the Biden administration for easing pain at the pump this summer by protecting access to lower-carbon, more affordable E15,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “Given ongoing supply threats stemming from unrest in Ukraine, the Middle East, and Red Sea shipping routes, this waiver will serve as a valuable shield against volatile fuel costs and help more working families benefit from E15, which has been saving drivers 10 to 30 cents per gallon.

“With gas prices on the rise again and geopolitical conflict roiling global energy markets, we applaud President Biden and EPA Administrator Michael Regan for taking decisive action to combat potential fuel shortages and keep a lid on gas prices this summer,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Allowing uninterrupted sales of E15 will help extend gasoline supplies, prevent fuel shortages, protect air quality and reduce carbon emissions. We also appreciate the efforts of USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and the many ethanol supporters in Congress who advocated for continued access to E15 this summer.”

American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings issued a statement after the announcement saying, “We are grateful EPA has once again responded to our requests for a national emergency waiver for E15 which will relieve pain at the pump and reduce pollution from vehicles over the summer months. ACE members pushed EPA to take this action during our DC fly-in last month and nearly 200 of our grassroots advocates contacted President Biden and Administrator Regan this month in support of an emergency waiver before the start of the 2024 summer driving season.”

The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and state corn grower organizations, which have advocated for the move, praised the decision too. “This waiver is good news for corn growers and those in rural America who will benefit economically from this decision and for consumers who will save money at the pump during a busy travel season,” said Minnesota farmer and NCGA President Harold Wolle. “We are deeply appreciative of EPA Administrator Regan, President Biden and our congressional allies for all their work on this issue.”

This is the third consecutive year the EPA and Biden Administration has issued a summertime waiver to allow the sale of E-15 gasoline. While many groups welcomed the announcement, groups like RFA, Growth Energy and ACE also pointed out the need for a permanent legislative solution to allow year-round E15 sales.
“For the environmental and economic benefits of E15 to be fully realized, the marketplace needs long-term certainty,” says RFA’s Cooper. “It’s time for Congress to pass legislation—like the Nationwide Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act—that would deliver permanent year-round access for E15 and finally break the cycle of ad hoc, stop-gap emergency waivers.”
“Earlier this year, the Biden administration finally confirmed E15 can permanently be offered in eight Midwest states, but postponed year-round access in those states until the summer of 2025,” says ACE’s Jennings. “Today’s action is an important reminder that higher ethanol blends play a critical part in our nation’s energy security as well as contribute significant climate and air quality benefits. A permanent solution to year-round E15 will ensure these benefits aren’t left to the whim of ad hoc agency decision making in the future.”
Growth Energy’s Emily Skor added, “We’re grateful to our steadfast champions on Capitol Hill who have fought hard for consumer access to E15, and, beyond this summer, we look forward to continuing work with them to find a permanent solution for year-round sales of E15.”
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