Bipartisan Bills to Permit Year-Round E-15 Sales Introduced in Senate and House

A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced bills this week to permit the sale of E15 blends throughout the year. The bills, introduced by Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), along with Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN) and Adrian Smith (R-NE), are designed to counteract a recent federal court ruling that blocked EPA from allowing year-round E15 sales. The bills would change language in the Clean Air Act to extend the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver to E15 blends year-round.

The recent D.C. Circuit Court ruling denying the EPA authority to extend the waiver was a major blow to farmers and ethanol producers because it slammed the door shut on any further regulatory attempts to push through year-round sales of E15. Expanding the RVP waiver through legislation is much more difficult because lawmakers generally want to avoid opening-up major pieces of legislation like the Clean Air Act to prevent additional language changes that may be unplanned or controversial.

The legislation was also co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Thune (R-SD), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Tina Smith (D-MN) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).

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