Midwestern Governors Explore State-Level Path Forward for Year-Round E15

In a Letter to EPA, Seven Midwest Governors Inquire about State-Level Solution to Maintain Consumer Access to Lower-Cost E15

Contact: Cassidy Walter

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Today a bipartisan group of seven Midwest governors, led by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan inquiring about the steps necessary to implement a state-level solution to ensure E15 can be sold all year long.

“In the wake of the court decision, we are exploring all of our options to ensure retailers are able to sell E15 to consumers all year long without interruption…While we are not formally submitting the notification required under [the CAA] today, we do want to express our interest in potentially pursuing this approach,” the governors wrote. “We look forward to speaking with you soon about our options for protecting the substantial investments our states have made in clean fuels, and ensuring consumers in our states can continue to purchase E15 all year long.”

In today’s letter, the governors request guidance from Administrator Regan on what documentation is necessary for them to exercise their rights under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to end the E10 volatility waiver in their states, thereby ensuring gasoline blendstocks could be used to produce either E10 or E15 year-round.

“Our states lead the nation in the production of low-carbon ethanol, and we have witnessed first-hand the important environmental, economic, and social benefits generated by a healthy and thriving renewable fuels industry. Thus, we were extremely disappointed by the recent D.C. Circuit Court decision overturning the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2019 regulation that finally facilitated year-round sales of E15 (gasoline blended with 15% ethanol) in conventional gasoline markets,” the governors wrote.

The CAA sets a cap on fuel volatility during the summer driving season that begins June 1 of each year. Due to the recent court case brought by oil refiners, E10 continues to receive a small waiver, but E15 does not. This allows oil refiners to supply only the higher volatility gasoline that can be used to blend E10 but would not be legal to use for blending E15 without a volatility waiver.

“We all hope either Congress or EPA will take action to preserve nationwide access to E15 on a year-round basis,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “But if no timely national solution is found, governors have the authority to implement a state-by-state solution. We heartily applaud the Midwest governors for putting oil refiners on notice that their market obstructionism will not stand. The oil refiners may have created this problem, but all 50 governors can fix it. We’re proud that Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is leading the way for a bipartisan Midwest solution.”

View the governors’ letter here.

Learn more about the state-level solution for E15 here.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 42 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4.5 billion gallons annually – including 34 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity – and 11 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce 410 million gallons annually. For more information, visit the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association website at: www.IowaRFA.org.