The deadline was met yesterday on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ruling on the E15 waiver, or was it? The EPA, in a letter to Growth Energy, the organization that filed the E15 Waiver, also known as the Green Jobs Waiver, has ruled to not rule. According to the letter the EPA wrote, “we want to make sure we have all the necessary science to make the right decision.” The letter also stated, “our engineering assessments indicate that the “robust fuel, engine and emissions control systems on newer vehicles (likely 2001 and newer model years) will likely be able to accommodate higher ethanol blends, such as E15.”
Today, that decision is to postpone a ruling on the petition until the DOE completes a study between May- August 2010. In addition, the EPA is looking at “addressing fuel pump labeling issues” should ethanol be blended up to 15 percent in the future. It appears that the EPA won’t make a decision on this petition until the end of 2010 but that when it does, it will be positive.
In response to the letter, Growth Energy Co-Chairman Gen. Wesley Clark said, “This announcement is a strong signal that we are preparing to move to E15, a measure that will create 136,000 new U.S. jobs, cut greenhouse gas emissions and lessen America’s dependence on imported oil.”
Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, noted, “The Growth Energy Green Jobs Waiver brought to light the issue of the regulatory cap on ethanol and is responsible for moving this process forward. The importance of increasing the blend is now universally understood. This expanded market opportunity is necessary to draw capital investment for cellulosic ethanol and allows the industry to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard.”
Buis also commended the EPA for its intent to begin the labeling and public education process in anticipation for higher ethanol blends in the marketplace.
Click here to read the EPA letter and Growth Energy’s response.
Listen to the Growth Energy press conference opening statements from this morning here:
Growth Energy press conference