WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) will be available for sale during the summer driving season following an April 28 emergency waiver issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This action is intended to provide Americans with relief at the pump from ongoing market supply issues created by Russia's war in Ukraine by increasing fuel supply and offering consumers more choices at the pump. Additionally, it will help protect them from fuel supply crises by reducing the country's reliance on imported fossil fuels, building U.S. energy independence and supporting American agriculture and manufacturing, the EPA said in a released statement.
E15 currently sells for about 25 cents less per gallon compared to E10.
In April, multiple fuel and convenience retailer associations requested the summertime authorization of E15, as Convenience Store News previously reported.
"The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting Americans from fuel supply challenges resulting from the ongoing war in Ukraine by ensuring consumers have more choices at the pump," said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. "Allowing E15 sales during the summer driving season will not only help increase fuel supply, but support American farmers, strengthen U.S. energy security, and provide relief to drivers across the country."
[Read more: E15 Sales Comes to New York State]
In around two-thirds of the country, E15 is barred from being sold from terminals starting May 1 and at retail stations starting on June 2. The EPA does not anticipate any impact on air quality from this limited action.
The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) applauded the emergency waiver, noting that the same action taken in 2022 resulted in nearly $60 million in savings at the pump during the summer months.
"We join consumers across the nation in thanking EPA Administrator Regan for taking action to combat potential fuel shortages and higher gas prices this summer," said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. "U.S. gasoline inventories are even tighter than they were a year ago, and Putin's war on Ukraine continues to wreak havoc on global fuel supplies. EPA's action allowing summertime E15 will help extend gasoline supplies, prevent fuel shortages, protect air quality and reduce carbon emissions."
The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) likewise applauded the action.
"With high fuel prices and recent OPEC oil cuts, ensuring E15 remains available for consumers is great news," said IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. "We appreciate all the retailers, consumers, farmers and elected officials who raised their voices in support of E15, and we are glad that EPA listened. E15 sales in Iowa and around that country have greatly increased as consumers become more familiar with its cost-savings and performance. In Iowa we are clearly on the path where E15 will be the 'new normal' in a few years."
Biofuel producer POET LLC stated the waiver places "a cleaner and more affordable fuel option within reach."
"Boosting the nation's available fuel supply with E15 is better for consumers, the environment, and the economy," said Joshua Shields, POET senior vice president of corporate affairs. "E15 can help shield Americans from gasoline supply shortages and price spikes. In addition, E15 reduces smog-forming emissions, which can mean cleaner air in congested urban areas most impacted by air pollution. E15 also supports jobs, creates value for family farmers, and drives economic growth in rural communities across America."