Renewable fuels industry (mostly) applauds Trump move on year-round E15

October 9, 2018 |

In Washington, Reuters reports that President Trump announced plans to move ahead with year-round E15 sales during a closed door meeting with Senators ahead of his trip to Iowa later in the day.

Currently, retailers throughout most of the country are prohibited from offering E15 to drivers during the summer months, costing consumers an opportunity to save up to 10 cents per gallon. In addition, fuel retailers must pay to retool and relabel their product offerings each year, creating confusion among drivers and holding back other retailers from embracing new options at the pump.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue hailed President Trump’s directive to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to begin a rulemaking process to expand the sale of corn ethanol, to include E15 year-round.

“President Trump has again made it abundantly clear that he is unleashing the full potential of American energy production as we retake our rightful place as the world’s leader.  I thank President Trump for his steadfast support of E15 expansion, while also acknowledging the close working relationship we’ve developed with Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.  I look forward to working with the EPA to see rulemaking and year-round E15 completed by the driving season of 2019.”

Reaction from the stakeholders

The renewable fuels industry overall applauded the long-expected move.

“Securing fair market access for E15 and other higher blends has been our top regulatory priority for several years, and we are pleased that the first official step in this process is being taken. When markets are open and competitive, American consumers win,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We thank President Trump for formally initiating the process to eliminate this antiquated, red-tape laden regulation, and look forward to the full resolution of this issue before next summer’s driving season. This is the right signal to the marketplace at just the right time, as both farmers and renewable fuel producers desperately need new market opportunities and sources of demand.”

“We are sincerely grateful the President is making good on his promise to require EPA to issue a rule allowing E15 access to the market year-round. We also enormously appreciate the leadership of Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley for their unwavering support of the farmers, retailers, and biofuel producers who have pushed for this common-sense change for many years. Once a final rule is in place and retailers can sell E15 year-round, it will help create additional demand for farmers who are suffering from oversupplies and low crop prices,” said American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) CEO Brian Jennings.

Michael McAdams of the Advanced Biofuels Association cautioned, “ABFA continues to believe comprehensive RFS reform is in the best interest of American consumers, farmers, and the biofuels industry. Anything short of comprehensive reform, including piecemeal changes made without the approval of Congress, picks winners and losers and weakens the RFS program overall. We look forward to continuing to work with Congress to develop solutions that benefit all stakeholders, the environment, and American consumers.”

The Clean Fuels Development Coalition (CFDC) called today’s announcement by the Trump Administration to open the market to higher volumes of high octane, low carbon and low-cost ethanol an important a win for consumers and the environment.

The decision to apply existing standards to these higher blends that lower vapor pressure is long overdue, said CFDC Executive Director Doug Durante. “Higher ethanol blends reduce the very evaporative emissions this antiquated restriction was designed to control”, he said.

Delivering on a key campaign promise, today President Donald Trump directed the EPA to remove current restrictions on E15 so that it may be sold year-round throughout the country.

“It’s hard to find the proper adjectives to describe how exciting it is to see year-round E15 move forward,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “We have worked non-stop on this issue for seven years while the unjustified restrictions hampered retailers from offering E15. We are grateful that President Trump took this historic action to boost ethanol and corn demand. Simply put, it is a promise made and a promise kept.”

“BIO applauds the Trump Administration’s decision to remove the regulatory barriers preventing the year-round sale of transportation fuel containing 15 percent biofuels (E15), said Brent Erickson, BIO’s Executive Vice President, Industrial and Environmental Section.

“As BIO noted in our comments on EPA’s proposed Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for 2019, approval of year-round use of E15 can greatly benefit U.S. consumers. Gasoline prices typically rise at the start of the summer, as refineries switch to production of summer-grade gasoline. Providing a permanent Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver for E15 will lower producer costs and provide relief to U.S. drivers.

“Researchers from the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics calculated that increasing the use of ethanol to 10 percent in gasoline saved U.S. consumers $7 billion between 2008 and 2016. Using a similar model – accounting for both the price difference between ethanol and gasoline blendstock and the price difference between ethanol and other octane additives – BIO calculates that the switch from E10 to E15 could save U.S. drivers approximately $9.5 billion per year.

Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor applauded President Trump’s announcement of plans to lift restrictions on E15, a fuel blend with 15 percent ethanol approved for 9 out of 10 cars on the road.

“We thank President Trump for delivering on his promise to rural America by lifting the summer restriction on E15 sales,” said Skor. “He answered the call from American farmers by removing the single most important barrier to growth in higher biofuel blends. This announcement is great news for farmers, biofuel workers, retailers and consumers everywhere who want to enjoy cleaner, more affordable options at the fuel pump. This is a critical step toward giving American motorists higher-octane options at a lower cost all year long.”

“President Trump made good on his promise to lift summer restrictions on E15 sales at the pump.,” said Adam Monroe, President, Americas at Novozymes. “We thank him and our rural champions in Congress for understanding the benefits of removing this outdated and unnecessary regulation, and for ensuring a speedy implementation at EPA.

Once implemented, this change will also unleash innovation and investment in new clean fuel technologies and agriculture products that propel the U.S. toward a more sustainable future.”





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