The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked a bipartisan group of seven Midwestern governors for their efforts to explore what actions can be taken to allow the year-round sale of E15 in their states.
In a letter sent to EPA Administrator Michael Regan today, the governors seek guidance from the agency on how best to pursue a specific provision of the Clean Air Act that allows states to establish a “level playing field” for E15. The governors’ letter follows a recent D.C. Circuit Court decision that found in favor of oil refiners and overturned EPA’s 2019 regulation that finally allowed the year-round sale of E15 in conventional gasoline markets.
“In the wake of the court decision, we are exploring all of our options to ensure retailers are able to sell E15 to consumers all year long without interruption,” the letter states. “Fuel marketers and retailers, renewable fuel producers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state governments have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to expand consumer access to low-cost, clean-burning fuels like E15. Not only does the recent court decision threaten to strand these public and private investments, but it also jeopardizes the progress we’ve made toward cleaning up our fuel supply and reducing emissions from transportation.”
Commenting on the letter, RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper said, “We sincerely appreciate the efforts of these governors to protect and expand market opportunities for the region’s farmers and ethanol producers. The governors should be applauded for working together to proactively seek solutions at the state level, rather than waiting for Washington to clean up yet another regulatory mess created by the oil industry. Ethanol producers and farmers stand with these governors, and we will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of an open and competitive marketplace for E15 and other lower-cost, lower-carbon ethanol blends. We encourage EPA to expeditiously respond to the governors and open the dialog needed to remove the outdated and absurd regulatory barrier to summertime sales of E15 in these states.”
Governors signing the letter were Kim Reynolds (R-Iowa), Pete Ricketts (R-Nebraska), Tim Walz (D-Minnesota), Tony Evers (D-Wisconsin), Doug Burgum (R-North Dakota), Kristi Noem (R-South Dakota), and Mike Parson (R-Missouri). In addition, Gov. Laura Kelly (D-Kansas) sent a similar letter to EPA in recent weeks. This bloc of eight contiguous states consumes approximately 13 billion gallons of gasoline annually. A universal move from E10 to E15 across these states would expand ethanol consumption by nearly 700 million gallons and boost corn demand by 225 million bushels.