In detailed comments submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said it “strongly supports” EPA’s proposal allowing 15 percent ethanol blends (E15) to take advantage of the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that currently applies to E10 during the summer months.
According to RFA, EPA’s proposed regulatory fix would allow year-round sales of E15 in conventional gasoline markets for the first time, finally opening the marketplace more broadly to a fuel that provides consumers higher octane, lower cost, and reduced tailpipe emissions.
“E15 already has a proven track record for saving drivers money and reducing emissions, but the fuel has been unfairly held back by an antiquated and anti-competitive EPA regulatory barrier,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper, noting that last October President Trump promised to eliminate the summertime ban on E15. “President Trump was correct when he called the summertime prohibition on E15 ‘unnecessary’ and ‘ridiculous,’ and we are pleased that EPA’s proposed regulatory amendments would finally allow gasoline retailers across the country to offer E15 to their customers year-round. When finalized, this rule will enhance competition and provide greater consumer access to cleaner, more affordable fuel options.
“However, just 32 days remain before the start of the summer driving season,” Cooper continued. “To honor the President’s commitment, EPA must act quickly to complete this rule and ensure it is finalized in a manner that truly the opens the market to E15.”
RFA notes that American consumers have driven more than 8 billion hassle-free miles on E15 without a single reported problem since it was first commercially introduced in 2012. In addition, E15 typically sells for 3-10 cents per gallon less than E10 gasoline, meaning drivers are saving money with each fill-up. Further, more than 93 percent of the vehicles on the road today are legally approved by EPA to use E15.
RFA’s comments also discouraged EPA from finalizing any of the four proposed Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market reforms. “While RFA is supportive of enhancing transparency in the RIN marketplace, we do not believe any of the four primary RIN reform options in the proposed rule would accomplish that objective,” according to the comments. “In fact, RFA is concerned that some of the major changes proposed by EPA may be counterproductive, undermine the efficient operation of the RIN market mechanism, and greatly expand administrative burdens for all parties affected by the RFS.”
RFA’s full comments to EPA are available here.