On May 30, 2019, EPA finalized regulatory changes to allow gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) to take advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that currently applies to E10 during the summer months. EPA is also finalizing regulatory changes to modify certain elements of the renewable identification number (RIN) compliance system under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, in order to bring greater transparency to the market and deter price manipulation.
Under the finalized expansion, E15 will be allowed to be sold year-round without additional RVP control rather than just eight months of the year.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue issued the following statement:
“I appreciate President Trump’s steadfast support for our patriotic farmers and for his commitment to expand the sale of E15 and unleash the full potential of American innovation and ingenuity as we continue to demonstrate our rightful place as the world’s leader in agricultural and energy production,” said Secretary Sonny Perdue. “This move to approve the year-round use of E15 in time for the summer driving season provides consumers with more choices when they fill up at the pump, driving demand for our farmers and improving the air we breathe. While the Trump Administration and USDA are expanding the ethanol market in the United States, we continue to fight for more export markets in Brazil, Mexico, China, and other countries across the globe. I applaud Administrator Andrew Wheeler for moving expeditiously to finalize this important E15 rule.”
Several organizations also spoke out in support of the news.
“Corn farmers have been long-time advocates of higher blends of ethanol such as E15, touting its benefits to both the farmer and the consumer,” NCGA President Lynn Chrisp said. “Farmers are facing some tough times which makes this announcement particularly welcome. We thank President Trump for following through on his promise to rural America and USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and supporters in Congress for their outspoken commitment to year-round E15.”
“For years, the Nebraska Corn Board has partnered with retail fuel stations to help support infrastructure development,” said Tim Scheer, farmer from St. Paul and District 5 Director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “We want stations interested in offering higher blends of ethanol, like E15, to have financial and promotional support to provide more choices to consumers. I see today’s decision by the EPA as a positive step towards making E15 much more widely adopted by retailers and consumers.”
“Removing outdated barriers and regulations is a commitment that this Administration continues to make good on. As our country has worked on breaking our dependency on foreign oil, our farmers have played a major role in helping us become more energy independent. After years of declining farm income, opening up markets to additional fuel choices for consumers helps create new demand that farmers desperately need. While we applaud today’s announcement to allow year-round E15 sales, we look forward to working with the Environmental Protection Agency to address the harm caused by the Small Refinery Exemptions, which have negatively impacted demand for our homegrown renewable fuels.” –American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall