The recent D.C. Circuit Court decision overturning EPA’s approval of year-round E15 sales could have a strongly negative impact on the rural economy and environment, according to a new analysis released by the Renewable Fuels Association.
According to the white paper, if the court decision is allowed to stand and no other action is taken to facilitate continued year-round sales of E15 in conventional gasoline areas, the ruling could have considerable long-term impacts on the ethanol market. E15 sales volumes in 2022-2024 would remain essentially flat with 2021 levels, rather than growing rapidly as expected prior to the court decision.
“Some major fuel retailers and marketers who have expressed interest in offering E15 have indicated to RFA that they are much less likely to invest in E15 if they aren’t able to sell the fuel year-round,” wrote RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman. “In addition, if the court ruling stands, E15 sales volumes per station would likely return to pre-2019 levels, as retailers would again be forced to forgo E15 sales during the busy summer driving season and consumers may be confused about fuel offerings.”
Specifically, the report estimates a loss of summer month sales for E15 between 2021 and 2024 would be nearly 12.6 billion gallons lower, which would amount to a net loss of ethanol sales of 630 million gallons valued at $1.3 billion. In addition, the ethanol industry would reduce purchases of corn by approximately 221 million bushels between 2021 and 2024, leading to more than $1 billion in lost sales revenues for farmers.
Learn more in this interview with RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman
Interview with Scott Richman, RFA Chief Economist 8:09