The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) is pleased with the EPA waiver this week of the summer low volatility gasoline requirement for 12 states due to concerns about fuel shortages from Hurricane Harvey, but they believe the agency should go further to relax other restrictions on the sale of 15% ethanol blended fuel (E15).
In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, RFA requested that EPA clarify that its waiver includes the requirements such as EPA pre-approval of Misfueling Mitigation Plans (MMPs) prior to selling the fuel. “Compliance with such requirements would make it virtually impossible for E15 blends to help alleviate the current supply shortages,” RFA explained in its letter.
“The impacts of Hurricane Harvey will soon be felt along the Atlantic Coast as refinery closures and pipeline disruptions are beginning to affect the region’s gasoline supply,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “The U.S. ethanol industry has ample supplies already stored throughout the country and our supply is not dependent upon pipelines. Ethanol is also about $0.50 per gallon less expensive than gasoline at the terminal today, and the spread is widening every hour. If marketers have the option to begin offering E15 immediately, without having to wait for months while EPA reviews and approves Misfueling Mitigation Plans and other regulatory hurdles to E15’s commercial availability, consumers will be given an important relief valve to gasoline supply disruptions.”