The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked a bipartisan group of governors who called on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take swift action to ensure consumers in their states will have uninterrupted access to lower-cost E15 throughout the summer 2023 driving season. Signing onto today’s effort are Govs. Kim Reynolds (R-IA), Jim Pillen (R-NE), Tim Walz (D-MN) and Kristi Noem (R-SD).
“We applaud the efforts of these governors to secure year-round access to E15 for consumers in their states,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We agree with the governors that EPA still has time to implement their petition in time for this summer. But if EPA fails to do that, the governors have made a strong case that EPA could and should use its authority to issue emergency waivers, just as it did last year. The governors’ letter underscores the point that year-round access to E15 saved consumers more than 20 cents per gallon last summer, or about $3 to $5 per fill-up. Those savings are in jeopardy this summer unless EPA acts quickly.”
The governors’ letter notes that if EPA fails to implement their petition before this summer, emergency waivers are justified by current conditions. “The market conditions that justified emergency action last summer still exist today; indeed, fuel supplies are even tighter than they were a year ago and there is greater risk of disruption heading into summer,” the governors wrote. “U.S. inventories of crude oil and petroleum products recently hit a 19-year low, and nationwide gasoline stocks are 3 percent lower than a year ago. Gasoline futures prices are up roughly 15 percent in just the last two weeks; and with a larger-than-usual amount of refining capacity offline for maintenance, supplies and prices could experience greater pressure as summer approaches. These are the same sort of circumstances that led EPA to issue emergency waivers last year.”
Earlier today at an EPA virtual hearing on the governors’ proposal, Cooper stressed that action needs to take place as soon as possible to ensure drivers can take advantage of E15 savings this summer. Even though EPA’s proposal is more than seven months late, there remains no economic, environmental, or legal justification for the agency to delay implementation by another year, Cooper said.