Responding to the oil industry’s effort to undermine the expansion of E15 (gasoline containing 15% ethanol), the Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy and National Corn Growers Association on Friday filed a brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit supporting and defending the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2019 regulation that finally allowed year-round availability of E15.
As intervenors in the oil industry’s lawsuit against EPA’s regulation allowing year-round E15, RFA, Growth Energy and NCGA are vigorously protecting the agency’s final rule, which finally extended the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver for E10 blends to E15 as well. The intervenors’ brief provides strong support for EPA’s position that parity in RVP regulations for E10 and E15 is consistent with the provisions of the Clean Air Act and the congressional intent behind those provisions. The organizations further point out that extending the volatility waiver from E10 to E15 is appropriate because the volatility of the fuel actually decreases as more ethanol is added into gasoline beyond E10.
“This disparate treatment of E10 and E15 made little sense,” the intervenors argue. “The volatility restrictions are intended to limit evaporative emissions, and the 1-psi allowance promotes the sale of ethanol-blended fuels. Yet adding 5% more ethanol to E10 uses more ethanol and lowers volatility and evaporative emissions. … The Final Rule removes a volatility restriction for E15 that EPA long ago removed for E10—enhancing consumer choice while reducing volatility and evaporative emissions. This Court should not allow the petroleum industry and its allies to stymie competition in this comparatively small but important portion of the U.S. transportation fuel supply.”