IRFA Applauds Fuel Choice Bill that Would Expand Access to E15

Senators Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) recently introduced S.889, the Fuel Choice and Deregulation Act, that would extend the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 1 psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to E15, just as the Agency has done for E10, allowing E15 to be sold to 2001 and newer vehicles in Iowa year-round.

“We applaud this effort by Sens. Paul and Grassley to remove unnecessary hurdles in federal regulation, and allow consumers to have year-round access to lower-cost E15, the most tested fuel in history,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “While other elected officials just this week sent letters hoping to restrict consumer choice and pander to petroleum’s near monopoly over the transportation fuel sector, it’s refreshing to see these valiant Senators get serious about building upon the progress we’ve made in air quality and encouraging competition at the pump.”“Consumers appreciate having choices, whether it’s at the grocery store or the fuel pump,” stated Sen. Grassley. “Those of us who live in biofuels-producing states like Iowa understand the appeal of cleaner, domestic, renewable fuels. The EPA should be consistent in the way it treats different fuel blends as a matter of fairness and to give consumers more options for fueling their vehicles. The EPA has never acted on its authority to grant a waiver for E15. This bill proposes a legislative fix to fill the void.”

As reported by OPIS, Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) recently introduce H.R. 1736, similar legislation in the House of Representatives that would have EPA extend the same volatility waiver to E15 as it provides to E10.

“Ethanol provides consumers in Nebraska and across America with a competitive, clean, domestically-produced alternative. However, burdensome EPA regulations are restricting consumers’ options at the fuel pump,” stated Rep. Smith. “Though E10 received a waiver decades ago, the same regulatory relief has not yet been extended to E15. We must pursue an all-of-the-above energy policy, which includes ethanol and other renewable fuels, by reducing red tape and encouraging innovation in the energy marketplace.”

H.R. 1736 has three co-sponsors Reps. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), and was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

E15 is a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline that is now available at a significant discount to regular unleaded gasoline at 31 locations in Iowa. E15 is approved by the EPA for use in all 2001 and newer passenger vehicles, as well as flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs). Those vehicles account for 85 percent of fuel use in the United States. Unlike E10, the EPA’s approval of E15 did not include the necessary volatility waiver to allow E15 to be sold as a registered fuel in Iowa during the summer months, therefore summertime volatility restrictions dictate that E15 can only be sold to FFVs from June 1 through September 15.

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For more information on E15, please click here.

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