Biden Administration Allows Summertime Sale Of E15

The Biden Administration announced last week it is lifting the ban on summertime sales of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol.

The move is part of the administration’s larger plan to lower the price of gasoline ahead of the midterm elections.

EMA has repeatedly warned both the EPA and the White House of the limitations involving the sale of E15 for the majority of retail gasoline stations across the nation.

Those limitations include compatibility issues with existing UST system components, motorcycles, boats and small gasoline powered equipment and downstream supply chain disruptions.

In addition, EMA contends, and the courts agree, that EPA does not have the legal authority under the Clean Air Act to waive the 1.0 psi waiver to allow the sale of E15 during the summer driving season.

The White House estimated that E15 could save a family 10 cents per gallon of gasoline on average.

Midwest lawmakers and corn ethanol industry groups urged Biden to grant the E15 waiver last month.

EMA also sent a letter last month to the White House urging caution when evaluating a summertime E15 sales waiver..

The EPA will issue a national emergency waiver to lift the existing E15 summertime restrictions before June 1 summer driving season begins.

EPA would be lifting the ban temporarily since the emergency waiver authority is only allowed in 20-day increments. The White House said the agency plans to extend the waiver “so long as the current fuel supply emergency continues.”

Environmental groups could challenge the waiver due to E15’s carbon intensity.

EPA is also considering additional action to facilitate the use of E15 year-round, including discussions with states and considering modifications to E15 fuel pump labeling. E15 contains lower energy content than E10 blends, thus erasing any economic benefit American families may gain.

The Biden Administration announced additional steps to lower prices at the pump:

— Release of more than 240 million barrels of crude from world wide reserves over the next six months.

— Regulatory changes to institute a “use it or lose it” policy that would force oil companies to pay fees on unused federal drilling leases that they hold without producing.

— Accelerating the switch from fossil fuels to alternative sources of energy by providing incentives for electric vehicles and funding research and development for large capacity batteries under the Defense Production Act.

— Providing $700 million in grants to biofuel produces to ensure a sustainable market for biofuels made from agricultural products.

— Providing $5.6 million for higher blend renewable fuel infrastructure.

— Providing $100 million dollars in grants to retail gasoline stations and distribution facilities for the cost of installation, retrofitting and upgrading equipment compatible with E15 or higher blends and B20 and higher blends.

— Provide funding for expanding railroad infrastructure to support a wider biofuel distribution network.

— Providing $4.6 billion for the development of sustainable aviation fuels.

— Regulatory changes to include canola oil to the list of approved fuel pathways under the RFS for production of renewable diesel, jet fuel and other distillates.

EMA is closely following implementation of the Biden plan to lower fuel prices and will report as more details emerge.

Please contact Ted Harris–— if you have questions.

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