EPA Proposed Rule Delays Midwest Governor Fix for Year-Round Until 2024
March 1, 2023
Contact: Jared Palmer
JOHNSTON, IOWA – After a nearly 10-month delay that ran counter to the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) deadlines, the EPA today proposed to approve requests from a bipartisan group of Midwest governors that will effectively allow the year-round sale of E15. Despite public assurances from the EPA Administrator that the rule would be done in time for the 2023 summer driving season, the proposal would not take effect until the summer of 2024. In the absence of changes to the rule or other emergency actions, retailers in the states will not be allowed to offer E15 from June 1 to September 15, costing consumers unnecessary millions in fuel costs.
The coalition of governors, led by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, made the decision to equalize regulations for E10 and E15 blends in an April 2022 notice to EPA. Under the CAA, the EPA should have finalized the new regulations within 90 days, thereby allowing plenty of preparation time for the 2023 summer driving season.
“It is unconscionable for me to think that this summer, Midwestern drivers and fuel retailers will be the ones to pay the price for the illegal delay by the Biden EPA to finalize these rules,” says Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw. “The governors’ authority is not in question. The air quality science is not in question. There is no question the EPA failed to meet the statutory deadline. Now they are using their own tardiness to justify putting off the E15 fix until 2024, leaving Midwest consumers to pay 15 cents per gallon or more than necessary.”
In January, Midwestern state attorneys general sent letter to White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young and EPA Administrator Michael Regan urging them to “swiftly and diligently implement the outstanding regulatory action.”
“We are not done fighting for 2023,” stated Shaw. “EPA promised the solution would be in place for 2023 and we intend to hold them to that. We urge the governors and the attorneys general to defend their rights under the Clean Air Act.”
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.