National Farmers Union (NFU) is concerned EPA’s proposed rule allowing year-round use of E15 gasoline will make it harder for retailers to sell higher level blends of ethanol.
In a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, NFU President Roger Johnson urged EPA to rewrite a provision contained within the rule that could amount to a cap on ethanol. It is viewed within the farm community as yet another barrier to family farmers and ranchers being able to sell farm products for biofuel production.
“Farmers Union is eager for EPA to follow through on its promises to get an E15 waiver out of the door by June 1,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “But we are concerned that certain provisions within EPA’s rulemaking unnecessarily work against expanded use of higher level blends of ethanol.”
NFU’s concerns stem from EPA’s interpretation of the “substantially similar” clause of the Clean Air Act, which prohibits the sale of any fuel or fuel additive that is “not substantially similar” to fuels or fuel additives used in the certification of new vehicles. EPA has limited its “substantially similar” interpretation to only an E15 blend, making the prospects of using higher level blends of ethanol harder to achieve. “For that reason, we respectfully request that EPA clarify that the Clean Air Act’s “substantially similar” provisions for gasoline do not cap ethanol at 15 percent,” said Johnson.