RFA to EPA: New Gasoline Volatility Regulations Needed to Level Playing Field, Encourage Investment in Higher Ethanol Blends

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) recently submitted a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to eliminate a regulatory quirk that is impeding growth in the use and availability of E15 and higher-level ethanol blends.

RFA_logo-new“Many gasoline retailers have rejected E15 because EPA’s current gasoline volatility regulations make it nearly impossible for them to sell E15 to EPA-approved conventional automobiles year-round,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Most gas stations are unwilling to dedicate storage tanks and dispensing equipment to a fuel that they can only sell for part of the year.”

According to the RFA letter, “The 1-psi [Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP)] waiver—originally provided to expand the production and use of fuel ethanol—is now having the perverse effect of discouraging greater ethanol use in today’s gasoline market, and it is obstructing the successful implementation of important fuel and carbon reduction policies enacted since then, including the Renewable Fuel Standard.”

Rather than asking EPA to extend the 1-psi RVP waiver to E15, RFA’s letter encourages the agency to take action to eliminate the relevancy of the waiver for E10 by requiring refiners to slightly lower the volatility of summertime conventional gasoline blendstock. This would ensure that retailers can freely offer E15 to conventional automobiles year-round. It would also clear the way for higher-level ethanol blends like E20 or E25 to meet applicable gasoline RVP requirements.

To read the entire letter, please click here.

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