The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) welcomed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to extend the 1-psi Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to E15 during the summer months but opposed the Agency’s controversial and unnecessary proposals to reform the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) credit market in comments submitted today to EPA’s proposed rule “Modifications to Fuel Regulations to Provide Flexibility for E15; Modifications to RFS RIN Market Regulations.”

In its comments, ACE strongly supported EPA’s proposal to extend the 1-psi RVP waiver to E15 but urged the Agency to use this rulemaking as a timely opportunity to take steps to deregulate the fuel market for higher ethanol blend use by allowing all mid-level ethanol blends to receive the 1-psi waiver, as well as to discard of its reforms to how RIN credits are handled under the RFS. Below are a few excerpts from ACE CEO Brian Jennings’ written comments:

“ACE strongly supports EPA’s proposal to modify its interpretation of CAA sec. 211(h)(4) so gasoline blends “containing 10 percent ethanol,” including E15, would receive the 1-psi RVP waiver. This interpretation of 211(h)(4) is legally-defensible, is consistent with Congressional intent, and reflects the realities of today’s motor fuel market.

“E15 is a clean, safe, and low-cost fuel which can be used in more than 90 percent of the cars on the road today. Since E15 typically costs 2 to 10 cents per gallon less than E10 and gasoline and has a higher octane rating (88 AKI), allowing its sale year-round would give consumers the option to buy a higher quality fuel and save money at the pump. It would also reduce refiner RIN costs and open market access for surplus corn.”

On EPA’s proposed RIN reforms, ACE believes they “would have the effect of reducing liquidity in the RIN market, consolidate power in the hands of certain oil refiners, and limit fuel wholesalers, blenders and retailers from using RIN value to sell higher blends of ethanol. Taken together, the RIN reforms constitute a poison pill which is incompatible with the goal of making E15 available to consumers year-round.”

“With just over 30 days to go until the start of the 2019 summer driving season, time is of the essence. We encourage EPA to move forward to finalize a rule allowing RVP relief for E15 but to cast aside the unnecessary and harmful proposals to reform the RIN market. If EPA insists on moving forward with the RIN reforms, we urge EPA to separate these issues in a final rulemaking.”

ACE’s full comments to EPA can be accessed here.