E15 Sales Rose in Summer 2023 as Uncertainty Surrounds Summer 2024

EPA-issued waivers helped spur sales of the fuel blend.
Koprowski Headshot
E15 fuel

NATIONAL REPORT Sales of ethanol fuel blend E15 surged between June and August of this year when compared to the same period in 2022, according to a new Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) analysis. 

The RFA examined data from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which is the only monthly data set available that includes E15 volumes and prices.

Sales of E15 in the state were up 10 percent compared to the summer of 2022, hitting a monthly record in August, as gasoline prices escalated. Part of the surge may be due to recent actions taken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which included implementing a series of emergency waivers that allowed consumers to continue to purchase fuels made up of up to 15 percent ethanol throughout the summer. 

[Read more: EPA Signals Year-Round E15 Sales Could Begin in 2024]

The RFA also noted that the increase in sales may have also been facilitated by a combination of ethanol's cost-competitiveness relative to petroleum-based gasoline blendstock, incentives from credits used to demonstrate compliance with the federal Renewable Fuel Standard, and the continued expansion of the number of retail stations offering E15. E15 was priced at an average discount of 16 cents per gallon in Minnesota this summer. 

Though unrestricted sales of E15 have been allowed since 2019, sales of the blend may again be restricted next summer due to a 2021 D.C. Circuit Court ruling in favor of oil refiners which overturned the rule allowing E15 to be sold year-round.

However, the RFA has found the state of E15 remains in flux. In April 2022, eight Midwest governors notified the EPA of their intent to opt out of the 1-pound vapor pressure waiver that is provided to E10, thereby creating a level playing field for E10 and E15. Governors of two other states subsequently issued similar requests. The agency did not respond with a proposed rule until March 2023, in which it granted the governors' request but delayed implementation until summer 2024, while still not yet issuing a final rule on the matter. 

[Read more: Two States Take Legal Action Over Year-Round E15 Sales]

Founded in 1981, the RFA is the leading trade association for the U.S. ethanol industry and advocates for greater demand for American-made renewable fuels and bioproducts worldwide.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds