Lawmakers Demand Action on E15 Waiver Request

Cindy Zimmerman

A bipartisan, bicameral group of 22 lawmakers sent a follow up letter to the White House this week seeking swift action on regulations that would allow year-round sales of 15% ethanol blended fuel (E15) in eight Midwest states, as requested in April 2022 by the states’ governors.

Congressman Brad Finstad (R-MN), Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski (D-IL), Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) spearheaded the letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to implement their outstanding regulatory action to remove the 1-psi volatility waiver for gasoline and ethanol blends, like E15, in Midwest states.

It has been more than 300 days since Rep. Finstad and Sen. Ernst sent an initial letter requesting EPA and OMB act on a request made by several Midwest governors to lift restrictions on the year-round sale of E15, and more than 500 days since the statutory deadline of the governors’ April 2022 request.

“It is long past time for the Biden Administration to implement our Midwest states’ request and permanently remove restrictions on the sale of E15,” said Rep. Finstad. “Sadly, this White House is intent on stonewalling the sale of a cheaper, cleaner fuel option for consumers and by doing so, withholding certainty for our biofuel producers and fuel retailers.

Other signers included Sens. Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Reps. Mike Flood (R-NE), Eric Sorensen (D-IL), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Tom Emmer (R-MN), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Mark Alford (R-MO) and Max L. Miller (R-OH).

Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper thanked the lawmakers for their action. “We’re hopeful that their letter will help break the logjam and ensure drivers in these states are able to enjoy the benefits of lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 all year long. Waiting until the last minute to act on the governors’ request isn’t good for anyone. The marketplace needs clarity and certainty now about the status of E15 in these eight states.”

At the same time, RFA continues to call on Congress to pass the Nationwide Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, which would permanently remove the summertime barrier on E15 nationwide.

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