The ethanol, Ag, and oil industries are pushing for last-minute, year-round E15 legislation before the lame-duck Congress ends. Bipartisan House and Senate bills are winning support from a broad coalition of more than 250 farm, ethanol, oil industry, and fuel retailer groups, who’ve urged the Senate to approve year-round E15 sales.
Renewable Fuels Association head Geoff Cooper says nationwide rules answer a key concern of the American Petroleum Institute. Cooper; “Because it creates consistency and certainty in the marketplace and sort of gets us out of this situation where, every summer, we’re looking for an emergency waiver or some kind of ad hoc fix to allow E15 to be sold in the summertime.”
A House companion bill would also harmonize volatility rules for ethanol-blended fuels.
Cooper; “It would extend the volatility waiver that E10 gets today. it would extend that to all blends of ethanol. In conjunction with that, the legislation would supersede or sort of nullify the petition that eight governors submitted to EPA back in April that would allow their states to do year-round E15 using a different regulatory provision.”
And the bills would help meet EPA proposals for 15 billion gallons or so of conventional ethanol use, which is not possible with E10 alone. Cooper; “So, in order to reach these volumes that are being required or proposed by EPA, it’s going to stimulate the marketplace to rapidly expand its offerings of E15.”
A recent survey found one out of every five fuel retailers plans to offer E15 next year. Over 2,800 fuel stations now carry E15.