Groups Urge EPA to Resolve Summertime E15 Barrier

Cindy Zimmerman

Six national farm and biofuel organizations are asking Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan to enact regulations requiring lower-volatility conventional gasoline blendstock in the summertime in order to facilitate year-round sales of E15 nationwide.

The Renewable Fuels Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, and National Sorghum Producers sent the joint letter saying that reducing the volatility of gasoline by just 1 pound per square inch (psi) would yield significant environmental benefits.

Regarding air quality, the six organizations referenced and attached a new study using EPA modeling tools, showing that reducing the vapor pressure of conventional gasoline blendstock by 1 psi “…would be beneficial to air quality, as emissions of carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) would be reduced.” The study further concluded that “if the elimination of the 1-psi waiver [for E10] leads to the replacement of E10 with E15, it will also decrease greenhouse gases and particulate emissions.”

The organizations also wrote that the move would “simplify engineering of emissions control systems and help facilitate compliance with Renewable Fuel Standard requirements, with no noticeable impact on fuel costs.” They attached a new economic study showing that lowering the volatility of gasoline blendstock would impact the cost of the fuel by just 1-2 pennies per gallon.

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