ACE Calls on Biden to Intervene on Midwest E15 Waiver Rule to Get it Over the Finish Line at EPA
Posted on 08/14/2023
The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) today called on U.S. President Joe Biden to ensure the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promptly finalizes its proposed regulation to eliminate the 1-pound per square inch (psi) Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver for gasoline containing 10 percent ethanol (E10) in eight states.
In a letter to President Biden, ACE CEO Brian Jennings outlined how “what should have been a straightforward undertaking by EPA to approve a petition submitted by eight governors on April 28, 2022, allowing retailers in their states to sell E15 year-round, has unfortunately turned into a sixteen-month odyssey.”
ACE thanked President Biden for directing EPA to invoke its emergency authority this summer and in 2022 to issue temporary fuel waivers allowing continued sales of E15 to prevent fuel supply shortages which could have raised prices at the pump for millions of Americans. However, the letter caveats, we also need EPA at long last to approve the Governors’ petition, so emergency steps are not needed in the future, and motorists in the eight states can benefit from uninterrupted E15 availability in time for the 2024 summer driving season.
The letter referred to EPA’s multiple delays during the regulatory process of this rule. EPA was required to act by July 27, 2022 by law, but didn’t issue a proposed rule until March 6, 2023 – 249 days after the legal deadline. “EPA issued a proposed rule to grant the Governors’ petition but also used its own tardiness to postpone sale of E15 year-round until April 28, 2024,” Jennings said in the letter. “An additional 161 days have passed, and EPA appears no closer to complying with the law and approving the Governors’ request.”
Jennings also mentioned Iowa and Nebraska Attorney Generals’ lawsuit to compel the Agency to take final action, adding we are 410 days into a 90-day deadline. “States should not have to resort to suing EPA to do its job,” the letter stated.
The letter concluded by underscoring the benefits of E15 year-round, noting the Governors provided EPA with empirical documentation that allowing E15 sales year-round would reduce harmful emissions and improve air quality in their states, as well as how last summer, consumers filling up on E15 saved an average of 16 cents per gallon compared to regular gas, and in some parts of the U.S. the savings approached $1 per gallon.
“While we continue to work on legislation to permanently provide these benefits to all Americans, the eight states deserve immediate action by EPA,” Jennings wrote. “We respectfully encourage you to intervene and ensure this matter is resolved expeditiously.”
A full copy of the letter can be accessed here.