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EPA Approves E15 Sales for 2024 Summer Driving Season

The agency aims to provide relief at the pump from market supply issues created by the ongoing war in Ukraine and conflict in the Middle East.

WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued an emergency fuel waiver to allow E15 — gasoline blended with 15% ethanol — to be sold during the summer driving season. 

The agency took action to provide relief at the pump from market supply issues created by the ongoing war in Ukraine and conflict in the Middle East. The waiver is intended to increase the domestic fuel supply, offer a variety of gasoline fuel blends from which drivers can choose, and help consumers protect themselves against future fuel supply shocks by reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels, the EPA stated.

[Read more: Decreasing Demand Stalls Rising Fuel Prices]

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Current estimates indicate that on average, E15 is about 25 cents cheaper per gallon than E10. 

Numerous industry associations who had been pushing for the 2024 waiver applauded the move.

"E15 enables fuel retailers to improve gasoline's emissions characteristics while lowering fuel prices at the pump," said David Fialkov, executive vice president of government affairs at NATSO and SIGMA. "Allowing the summer sale of E15 will help to ensure consistent, reasonably priced gasoline supply across the nation."

The Clean Air Act allows the EPA administrator to temporarily waive certain fuel requirements to address shortages. Currently, in approximately two-thirds of the country, E15 cannot be sold from fuel terminals starting on May 1 and at retail stations starting on June 1. By extending the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that currently applies to E10 gasoline to E15, it will enable E15 sales throughout the summer in these areas, if necessary. 

"Allowing E15 sales during the summer driving season will increase fuel supply, while supporting American farmers, strengthening our nation's energy security and providing relief to drivers across the country," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. 

Because the RVP of E10 and E15 gasoline used by consumers will be the same, the EPA does not expect any impact on air quality from this limited action. 

In the meantime, NATSO and SIGMA continue to support a legislative fix to permanently allow year-round E15 and previously approved of the EPA's decision to allow such sales in eight Midwestern states.

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