IRFA Urges Biden Administration to Unleash E15 to Lower Gas Prices
March 8, 2022
Increased Access to E15 Could Immediately Displace Embargoed Russian Oil
Contact: Cassidy Walter
JOHNSTON, IA – Today following President Joe Biden’s embargo of Russian oil and gas, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) called on the Administration to take immediate action to increase consumer access to E15 and relieve high gas prices.
“Since the early days of President Biden’s Administration, IRFA has called for EPA and the President to take the necessary few steps within their authority to unleash the cost-savings and emission reductions of E15,” said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Now that the country is facing some of the highest gas prices ever and supporting Ukraine by banning imports of Russian oil, there has never been a more critical time to follow through. And it should start with ensuring consumer access to E15 through 2022.”
The first and most important step is for EPA to exercise its emergency powers to issue a volatility waiver to ensure E15 can be sold throughout the rest of 2022 in all parts of the country. EPA has approved volatility waivers in the wake of emergencies such as hurricanes. Without such a waiver, conventional gasoline areas, representing over 60% of all fuel sold, will find it difficult to sell lower-cost E15 from June 1 to September 15.
To ensure the long-term benefits of year-round E15, last year IRFA submitted comments to EPA and a letter to the President outlining the key steps that would dramatically increase consumer access and use of E15. These steps included:
- Limiting the volatility of all fuel so that E15 can be sold year-round across the country on a permanent basis;
- Confirming all E10 storage an dispensing equipment is compatible with E15 – making it possible for retailers across the country to immediately start offering a lower-cost fuel that is extremely similar to what they are already selling today; and
- Finalizing the E15 labeling modification rule proposed by EPA, which would clear up consumer confusion about E15.
“If the Midwest alone were to switch from E10 to E15 it would make up for the barrels of oil we won’t be importing from Russia,” Shaw said. “American ethanol producers have well over two billion gallons of unutilized production capacity and are standing ready to play a larger role in our energy landscape. Now is the time to for the Administration to make that possible.”
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.