According to Reuters, members of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition said they want the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to issue a waiver to allow the sale of 13 percent ethanol blends. U.S. governors who want to see more ethanol production said they are optimistic regulators will soon boost the allowed blend rate for ethanol in gasoline to 13 percent from 10 percent.
Iowa Gov. Chet Culver, vice chair of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition said, “The EPA is going to take a very serious look at that 10 percent waiver, and we’re encouraged. We’re optimistic, and we think we have people in place, like (Agriculture Secretary Tom) Vilsack in particular, that can help us make the case on a daily basis out here.”
North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven, the coalition’s chair, told Reuters he hoped the EPA would act on the waiver request “within weeks or months.” He said the increase to 13 percent was just the first step. “We want to continue that effort to increase the percentage blend into fuels into the fuel supply,” Hoeven said.
Ethanol makers have been pushing to boost the blend rate as high as 20 percent to encourage the development of the industry. Any increases to ethanol blend rates would also need the support of the auto industry, which is concerned about the effects of higher blends on fuel lines and catalytic converters, Hoeven said.