E15 will be sold year-round, following action taken today (May 30) by the Trump administration. In addition, the administration made changes to the renewable identification number market under the Renewable Fuel Standard.
The changes to the RIN market include:
- Requiring public disclosure when RIN holdings exceed specified thresholds; and
- Collecting additional data.
“As President Trump promised, EPA is approving the year-round sale of E15 in time for summer driving season, giving drivers more choices at the pump,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
With today’s action, EPA is finalizing regulatory changes to apply the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure waiver that currently applies to E10 during the summer months so that it applies to E15 as well. This removes a barrier to wider sales of E15 in the summer months, thus expanding the market for ethanol in transportation fuel.
The changes to the RIN market will help EPA continue to gather the information needed to decide whether further action is needed to ensure stability in the RIN market.
To further strengthen confidence in the RFS program, EPA will soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Internal Revenue Service to promote collaboration and support efforts to prevent against RIN and blender tax credit fraud.
Higher blends of renewable fuels reduce fuel prices for drivers by three cents to 10 cents per gallon, according to the NCGA.
“With year-round E15, retailers will have the regulatory certainty they need to offer American drivers a cleaner, more affordable fuel choice throughout the year,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “This action also means savings for American motorists at the pump and a sorely needed market for farmers who are facing a devastating economic downturn. We estimate this one change will generate over a billion new gallons of ethanol demand in the next five years. Over time, demand for E15 could boost the market for American grain by an additional two billion bushels.”
Over the last decade, Growth Energy has worked with top fuel retailers, like Sheetz, to expand options for American motorists. Today, E15 is sold at more than 1,800 locations in 31 states, with many more expected in the months and years ahead.
“This fix provides major regulatory relief for all retailers seeking to offer lower-cost, higher-octane options at the fuel pump,” said Mike Lorenz, Executive Vice President for Sheetz. “For too long, retailers had to pay millions to retool and relabel pumps each summer and fall, which creates needless confusion for drivers. Now our customers will have uninterrupted, year-round access to E15 and a chance to save money during the busy summer travel season.”
“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,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.
“We’ve advocated for the passing of E15 for a long time, and it’s satisfying to finally have an end result to a rule ICGA and its members are passionate about,” said Curt Mether, Iowa Corn Growers Association president.
“While corn farmers are immensely grateful that the barrier to year-round E15 has been lifted, we won’t be able to reap the full benefits if EPA continues to allow oil companies to avoid blending biofuels in accordance with the RFS,” said National Corn Growers Association President Lynn Chrisp.
“Removing outdated barriers and regulations is a commitment that this administration continues to make good on,” said American Farmer Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “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.”
“. . . E15 is just one step in lifting farm prices and using up excess corn supply. Now EPA should take full advantage of all the benefits higher-level ethanol blends offer by expanding the use of E30 fuel, which is consistent with the statute and this country’s energy policy,” said National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson. “Not only would this support family farmers, but it would also create new jobs and economic growth in rural communities, lower fuel prices for American drivers, improve air quality, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.”