In remarks to the House Agriculture Committee today, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue said the final rule allowing year-round E15 may not be done in time for the start of the summer driving season. Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper had the following statement:
“We were very disappointed to hear that the regulatory fix allowing year-round E15 may not be completed by the beginning of the summer driving season. The American ethanol industry and farmers across the country have suffered greatly as a result of former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s efforts to destroy demand for renewable fuels and undermine the effectiveness of the Renewable Fuel Standard. That is why President Trump’s promise last October to allow year-round sales of E15 by this summer was met with such enthusiasm and appreciation, and why the suggestion today that EPA will break that promise represents such a gut punch, if it is indeed true.
“We have no doubt that the so-called ‘RIN reforms’ sought by oil refiners are bogging this rulemaking down. Thus, I reiterate the request we formally made last month to split RIN reform and year-round E15 into two separate rulemakings and expedite the E15 rule. The year-round E15 provisions are straightforward, and there is no reason they could not be promulgated by this summer, particularly as President Trump made the commitment to resolve this red-tape regulatory barrier nearly five months ago. Ethanol plants are shutting their doors and laying off workers, while farmers are facing the worst market conditions in more than a decade—we need EPA to honor the President’s promise to allow year-round E15 now!”