Iowa and Nebraska Attorneys General File Lawsuit to Hold EPA Accountable on Year-Round E15 Fix

Iowa and Nebraska Attorneys General File Lawsuit to Hold EPA Accountable on Year-Round E15 Fix

Contact: Emma Koehler

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Today, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird and Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers filed suit in federal court against the U.S. EPA to protect the rights of their governors under the federal Clean Air Act. The suit seeks to compel the EPA to make a final determination on a request from eight Midwest governors to equalize regulations for E10 and E15 ethanol blends, thereby allowing E15 to be sold year-round.

“The EPA is already over a year late in finalizing the E15 decision,” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Any further delay could jeopardize access to E15 during the 2024 summer. After showing incredible patience and giving the agency every chance to act on their own, it seems it may take a court order to get the EPA to finalize the E15 rule. IRFA members applaud the Iowa and Nebraska attorneys general for defending the rights of their governors, and by extension, the rights of all the Midwest governors who are waiting on EPA to do its job.”

Current federal regulations set different requirements for E10 and E15 during the summer driving season from June 1 to September 15. This has allowed oil refiners to game the system and only supply gasoline suitable to blend E10. The Clean Air Act provided every state governor with the authority to equalize the E10 and E15 regulations. By law, such a request was supposed to be made final by the EPA within 90 days of the request. That deadline passed over a year ago.

In April of 2022, eight Midwest Governors, led by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, exercised their Clean Air Act (CAA) authority to equalize the summer regulations for E10 and E15. Defying the 90-day deadline, EPA waited until March 6, 2023, to propose approval of the request. Even with the public comment period on the draft rule closed for months and no substantive objections raised to the proposal, the EPA has neither finalized the rule, nor laid out a timeline for action.

“There is no excuse for further delay,” stated Shaw. “The law is clear. The air quality science is clear. And it is clear the EPA has missed the statutory deadline by over a year. This is not a complex issue and it’s mindboggling it has taken this long. Midwest consumers and fuel retailers deserve to know that E15 will be a year-round option in 2024. Every day of delay jeopardizes investments that can reduce fuel costs, clean our air, and make us more energy independent.”

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: