Year-Round E15: A Battle on Multiple Fronts

Governors Opt-Out

Access to year-round E15 is a common-sense solution to secure American energy independence, decarbonize transportation, and save drivers money.

Last year, a bipartisan group of Midwestern governors stood for common sense, exercising their authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to provide “relief, flexibility and certainty” in the fuel market by formally requesting that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allow their states to opt out of the one psi waiver for Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP). This action ensures regulatory parity for E10 and E15 and allows year-round access to E15 for their states.

The waiver request was made to ensure uninterrupted E15 access for drivers in these states starting in 2023. However, the request was met with delay as oil and refining interests lobbied to stall implementation. But after nearly a year, and well beyond the deadline to respond to the governors’ request, the EPA proposed a rule allowing these states to opt out beginning June 1, 2024.

Despite the delay, the EPA’s rule marks a significant advancement in the fight for nationwide access to year-round E15. POET thanks Governors Mike DeWine (R-OH), Tony Evers (D-WI), Kristi Noem (R-SD), Kim Reynolds (R-IA), Jim Pillen (R-NE), Tim Walz (D-MN), Mike Parson (R-MO) and then-Governor, now Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) for their leadership.

Eight Down, 42 To Go…

The opt-out rule going into effect in 2024 sparked a renewed call for an emergency waiver for E15 in 2023. Without EPA action, consumers faced losing the lowest cost option at the pump during the busiest driving season of the year. POET, alongside our industry allies and champions, renewed calls for the EPA to approve an emergency waiver for the summer driving season.

On Friday, April 28, President Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, Michael Regan, granted an emergency waiver for summer 2023 sales of E15.

“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 Administrator 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.”

POET thanks President Biden, EPA Administrator Regan, and House and Senate biofuels champions for ensuring drivers can continue to access cleaner, affordable E15 this summer.

Concurrently, our champions on Capitol Hill have been bringing pressure to bear on the Biden Administration and in Congress for a permanent solution for year-round E15. In February, a bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers led by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) sent a letter to the Biden Administration supporting the governors’ opt-out.

In March, the Consumer and Retailer Fuel Choice Act was reintroduced with bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate. This proposed legislation would amend the Clean Air Act to provide a permanent RVP fix allowing for the uninterrupted, nationwide sale of E15 and higher blends of biofuels.

The bill was reintroduced in the Senate by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) and in the House by Reps. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Angie Craig (D-MN), and Dusty Johnson (R-SD).

“By ensuring consumers can access E15 gasoline throughout the year, our bipartisan legislation will benefit our economy, decrease prices at the pump, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said Sen. Klobuchar.

“Consumers need year-round, nationwide E15 — and they need it now — and I thank my colleagues in the House and Senate for partnering with me on this important bill,” said Rep. Smith.

Endorsed by many, including the American Petroleum Institute, momentum continues to grow towards a permanent solution for year-round E15.

We thank our bipartisan champions in the House and Senate for their tireless leadership and support for biofuels. POET looks forward to the work ahead to guarantee affordable, available, American-made E15 from coast to coast.




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