The regulatory restriction, which President Trump has called “ridiculous” and “unnecessary,” that prevents gasoline retailers from selling 15% ethanol (E15) in much of the country during the summer will finally be lifted on Sunday, Sept. 16. This will once again allow consumers across the nation to have access to the higher octane, less expensive fuel.
President Trump has expressed support on multiple occasions this year for allowing year-round E15 sales, but EPA has yet to make it happen. Farm and ethanol groups wrote to the president this week, urging his administration to follow through and provide farmers and ethanol producers with expanded access to markets and new sources of demand at a time when agricultural and biofuel markets are struggling.
“EPA’s nonsensical restriction on E15 is preventing consumers from saving money at the pump precisely when prices are typically at their highest and is hamstringing further expansion in the marketplace,” said Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has already destructed demand for more than 2.25 billion gallons of biofuel. With the corn and ethanol industries hurting, EPA needs to act now to provide new value-added market opportunities and ensure consumers have consistent access to lower priced, higher octane E15.”
Just this week, the Minnesota Department of Commerce reported that only 2.86 million gallons of E15 was sold in the state in July–the lowest recorded since September 2017 and less than half of the volume sold just two months earlier in May, prior to the summer RVP ban kicking in.