Summer Fuel Season Brings Changes for E15, Again

Press Contact: T.J. Page


Refiners Force E15 to be Sold to Flex-Fuel Vehicles Only Through September 15

JOHNSTON, IOWA – The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) today announced that Big Oil’s fuel distribution monopoly has forced Iowa retailers to temporarily stop offering lower-cost, cleaner-burning E15 to 2001 and newer vehicles through September 15, 2014. In the meantime (from June 1 to September 15), E15 can be offered to flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) only.

“Due to the stranglehold oil companies have on the U.S. fuel distribution system, many Iowa motorists are no longer able to benefit from locally-produced E15,” stated IRFA Managing Director Lucy Norton. “If oil refiners chose to ship gasoline with the proper vapor pressure into our state, Iowa motorists could have expanded access to cleaner-burning, lower-cost E15 year-round, instead of it being temporarily restricted to only flex-fuel vehicles during the summer.”

E15 is the most tested fuel in history, and was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for 2001 and newer light-duty vehicles. Since summertime fuel regulations went into effect on June 1, the vapor pressure of the typical gasoline sold in Iowa is no longer suitable for blending with 15 percent ethanol. Unlike E10, the EPA’s approval of E15 did not include the necessary waiver to allow E15 to be sold as a registered fuel during the summer months.

To alleviate this quirk and allow Iowans to benefit from safe and economical E15, oil refiners could simply ship gasoline with the proper vapor pressure into Iowa. About one-third of all gasoline sold in the U.S. is suitable for blending with 15 percent ethanol during the summer. The IRFA and several other agriculture and biofuels organizations recently successfully advocated for the implementation of Senate File 2344 to help ease costs Iowa retailers may incur when obtaining gasoline suitable for blending with 15 percent ethanol during the summer months. S.F. 2344 enhances Iowa’s E15 retailer tax credit to 10 cents from June 1 to September 15, however at all other times throughout the year it remains at 3 cents.

To learn more about E15, a fuel containing 15 percent ethanol, please click here.

Iowa leads the nation with 20 registered E15 stations. A full list of registered E15 stations in Iowa is available by clicking here.

Iowa is the leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.8 billion gallons annually, with three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction. In addition, Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.