Bill looks to rewrite E15 rules

Jul 16, 2021  | 3 min  | Ep4648

Two consecutive Fridays delivered challenging news for the ethanol industry in court rulings. The Year-Round Fuel Choice Act was introduced this week by a host of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Here’s Peter Tubbs with more.

Following another setback in the push for year-round E15 sales, the ethanol industry is seeking a legislative remedy.
In 2019, the Trump Administration’s EPA granted a waiver to allow E15 to be sold in the summer months.  
This month, a Federal Court reversed the EPA’s order, ruling that the federal agency had exceeded its authority by overruling definitions written by Congress.
This week, Senator Charles Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, introduced a bill to extend E15’s volatility waiver to all 12 months of the year, granting the increased blend the same waiver status E10 currently enjoys, allowing sales year round.
Senator Charles Grassley, IA: “So we are right back where we started a few years ago. So what do you do when a court interprets a statute contrary to the intent of Congress? You go back and rewrite the statute.” 
 
E15 is available at around 3,100 gas pumps in 18 states, mostly in the Midwest. With an estimated 150,000 stations across the United States that dispense gasoline for cars and trucks, E15 availability is still rare. 
The ethanol industry is optimistic that year-round availability of E15 will encourage stations to install more compatible pumps around the country and add to the 500 million gallons of E15 sold in 2019. The half-billion gallons of biofuels blended into U.S. gasoline measured out to be about one half of one percent of the 123 billion gallons of gasoline pumped into U.S. vehicles. Ethanol production consumed 35 percent of the 2019 domestic corn crop.
Ethanol proponents estimate replacing every gallon of E10 with E15 nationally would result in up to 7 billion additional gallons of ethanol sold each year, an increase of 44 percent over 2019 production.
The American Petroleum Institute is a trade association for the U. S.p oil and natural gas industry.
Patrick Kelly, API Senior Fuels Policy Advisor: “We will continue to advocate for technology-neutral policies at the federal level that drive greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the transportation sector and support consumer choice—taking a holistic approach to fuels, vehicles, and infrastructure systems.”
For Market to Market, I’m Peter Tubbs.
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