The debate over E15 has renewable fuels advocates busy in Washington D.C. E15 – gasoline that contains about 15 percent ethanol – has not been approved for year-round sale. Biofuel advocates say it’s because of outdated policy that doesn’t allow summer sales.
This week, ethanol advocacy group Growth Energy filed a formal comment urging the Environmental Protection Agency to swiftly allow for permanent year-round sales of E15 in eight Midwest states. The comments address EPA’s proposed response to Midwest governors seeking equal treatment of E10 and E15 fuels under federal Reid Vapor Pressure limits – a change that Growth Energy says would extend access to cleaner, more affordable biofuel blends.
Chris Bliley is the senior vice president of regulatory affairs for Growth Energy. He gives me more details on what they are asking of the EPA:
“For motorists, the value proposition of E15 is clear,” Bliley wrote in the letter to EPA. “It gives consumers an additional choice at the pump that allows an additional pathway to market for homegrown ethanol.”
In the letter, Bliley also highlighted E15’s advantages in terms of enhancing U.S. energy security and decreasing volatility in the American fuel market.
“Reliance on petroleum energy sources can lead to substantial swings in fuel prices, as seen during the 2022 summer driving season as prices skyrocketed in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, inflation, and other factors,” he said. “During this period, E15 provided consumers with a significantly lower-cost fuel option at the pump, with savings of $0.16/gallon nationwide and up to $0.96/gallon in certain locations.”
Bliley says if E15 were to replace E10 on a nationwide basis, consumer spending on motor fuel would decrease by $20.6 billion.
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