EPA releases rule on year-round E15, delays implementation  | TSLN.com

EPA releases rule on year-round E15, delays implementation 

Responding to requests from state governors to remove the one pound per square inch (1-psi) volatility waiver for gasoline-ethanol blends containing 10% ethanol in their states, the Environmental Protection Agency released a rule that would allow the sales, but proposed that the rule not go into effect until April 28, 2024. EPA explained, “The governors made their request pursuant to CAA section 211(h)(5), which provides that the administrator shall remove the 1-psi waiver via regulation upon demonstration that the 1-psi waiver increases emissions in their state. After review of the modeling results presented by the governors in their requests, EPA is proposing to remove the 1-psi waiver in the following states: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.“EPA also received multiple petitions from stakeholders requesting an extension of the effective date to the summer of 2024. This action proposes to delay the effective date for one year consistent with statutory provisions. EPA proposes an effective date for all states of April 28, 2024. This action also proposes a regulatory process by which a state may request to reinstate the 1-psi waiver.”Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said, “Today’s proposal offers both good news and bad news for consumers, fuel retailers, ethanol producers and farmers. While we’re glad to see EPA is finally taking action to approve the governors’ petition, we’re frustrated and disappointed that the agency is proposing to kick the can on implementation until 2024.”
There is simply no justification for further delaying this action, which is already months overdue. By law, EPA should have finalized approval of the governors’ petition more than seven months ago, which would have given the marketplace more than enough time to adjust and prepare for implementation this summer. But instead, under pressure from the oil industry, the White House ignored a statutory deadline, sat on the proposal for months on end, and slow-rolled governors who acted in good faith to ensure consumers would have the ability to chooser lower-cost E15 all year long. And now, because of the administration’s unnecessary foot-dragging, consumers could lose access to the most affordable fuel at the pump three months from now.
“We urge EPA to reconsider its proposal to delay implementation. There is still time for the agency to finalize the regulation — or to use other regulatory authority — to allow E15 sales to continue this summer.”
The National Corn Growers Association said it supported the governors’ plan and said the one-year delay in implementation would cause “market uncertainty” for E15 in 2023.“These governors took the initiative and used authority under the law to ensure their consumers could maintain access to low-cost, low-emissions E15,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “These governors did the right thing, but EPA’s proposal delays this solution. Higher ethanol blends lower emissions, save drivers money and allow for consumer choice. With the proposed delay in implementation, we now urge EPA to use existing authority to prevent a disruption in E15 availability this summer.”
National Farmers Union President Rob Larew said, “We appreciate EPA’s efforts to increase the use of ethanol in this proposal. Expanded availability and adoption of ethanol is good for farmers, good for consumers, and good for the environment. NFU continues to support further availability of ethanol and biofuels as a critical piece to address the climate crisis and provide more choice for consumers.”
But NFU also urged the Biden administration “to allow E15 usage this summer driving season, as was done last year.”
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said she was pleased EPA acted, but added, “American drivers have been able to purchase E15 every summer since 2019, and this summer should be no different. EPA can ensure that access continues in 2023, and should take whatever steps are necessary to do so, including through the use of an emergency waiver.”
Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, “I appreciate the EPA trying to move the ball forward on access to E15 during the summer months. We all know E15 is great for lowering costs at the pump and strengthening our energy security.“But this proposal, while well-intended, still leaves the country with a patchwork of regulations that prevents the nation’s driving public from enjoying the full benefits of biofuels. It also fails to address this upcoming summer driving season.“The best solution here is congressional action.“I have a bipartisan bill that would create a permanent, nationwide fix. I look forward to reintroducing it this Congress so we can make true year-round E15 a reality.”

–The Hagstrom Report