WASHINGTON - Five years ago this week, 15% ethanol (E15) blends debuted in the marketplace, offering consumers a new lower-cost, higher-octane fuel option at the pump. On July 10, 2012, Kansas became the first in the nation to offer E15. Since that time, the growth of E15 availability has expanded, with nearly 900 stations in 29 states currently offering the fuel blend. In June 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) gave final approval for the sale and use of E15 in light duty vehicles made since 2001, representing nearly 90 percent of today's automotive fleet. Meanwhile, manufacturers of more than 80 percent of the new vehicles sold in 2017 clearly list E15 as an approved fuel. "Since the debut of E15 five years ago, consumers have enjoyed greater access to a fuel that typically costs less, reduces harmful tailpipe pollution, offers higher octane, and boasts a higher renewable content," said Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Bob Dinneen. "Thanks in part to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership Program and the industry-funded Prime the Pump initiative, more and more stations are offering E15. We look forward to the continued growth of E15 throughout our nation and enhancing the ability of American drivers to choose a fuel that is better for their pocketbook, better for the environment, and better for engine performance." Since the first gallon of E15 was pumped five years ago, more than 1 billion trouble-free miles have been driven on the fuel. Not a single verified case of misfueling, "engine damage," or inferior performance has been reported. Even greater E15 expansion will occur once consumers have year-round access to E15. Due to an outdated EPA regulation, retail gas stations are essentially prohibited from selling E15 in more than two-thirds of the nation's gasoline market during the summer ozone control season, from June 1-Sept. 15. Whether through legislative or regulatory action, RFA is working to ensure E15 is available year-round, throughout the nation.