On Wednesday (May 3), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting that EPA is considering granting a year-round waiver to sell 15% ethanol fuel (E15). Pruitt’s comments follow a threat the day before by Senators Grassley and Thune to hold up repeal of an Obama-era methane rule unless Congress would allow the sale of 15% ethanol fuel blends all year round.
Pruitt told the crowd that there is an ongoing statutory analysis and it is a matter of whether statute permits it or not. There is dispute within EPA about whether EPA can grant a waiver or if the Clean Air Act must be amended.
Pruitt also said EPA should meet its November deadline to publish the final Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume mandates and the agency is still reviewing comments on whether to change the point of obligation.
The Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) opposes efforts that would amend the Clean Air Act to extend the 1-psi waiver to gasoline blends higher than E10 during the summer ozone season. Such a change would expedite the use of E15 without addressing the infrastructure and liability issues that are associated with its use.