Apr 12, 2022

EPA to Ease Restrictions on Summer Ethanol Sales

With high gas prices, E15 can save consumers as much as 50 to 70 cents per gallon

On Tuesday, President Biden announced plans to lift summertime restrictions on E15, allowing the 15% bioethanol blend to be sold year-round.

Biden announced the plans for the emergency waiver during a visit to the POET Bioprocessing plant in Menlo, IA, on Tuesday.

POET Bioprocessing – Menlo is one of POET’s 33 bioethanol production facilities. The company has a combined annual production capacity of 3 billion gallons of bioethanol.

“America needs an immediate fix at the fuel pump, and E15 is here to meet that need,” said Jeff Broin, POET Founder & CEO.

“Bioethanol is an affordable, available, American-made fuel that can lower gas prices and boost our nation’s energy independence right now.”

Bioethanol already makes up 10% of the U.S. fuel supply. The ban on summertime sales of E15 was lifted in 2019, however, that EPA rule was later overturned in a 2021 federal court decision, once again limiting E15 sales from June to September.

As gas prices continue to skyrocket, E15 can save consumers as much as 50 to 70 cents per gallon. Today’s fix will ensure those fuel savings continue to flow to drivers seeking relief at the pump and improve domestic energy supplies.

“Every driver should have the freedom to choose a fuel that’s better for their wallet, their health, and the environment,” said Broin. “Plant-based bioethanol is the only liquid fuel that can check all those boxes, and it’s produced by Americans, for Americans, right here in the Heartland.”

Consumers have already driven more than 25 billion miles on E15. Moving the nation’s fuel standard from E10 to E15 would offset 6.2 billion gallons of gasoline, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 17 million tons per year, and bring value to American consumers, rural communities, and the U.S. economy.

“Today we are grateful to President Biden for following through on his commitment to deliver lower-carbon, lower-cost fuel options to the American people and for allowing the POET team to share in the celebration of this major win for consumers and for America’s energy security,” said Broin.

Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) President and CEO Geoff Cooper agrees the emergency waiver is a simple solution to relieve the pain Americans are feeling at the pump.

“More ethanol means more savings at the pump, as ethanol has recently been selling for nearly $1 per gallon less than wholesale gasoline," says Cooper.

"As war in Ukraine continues to roil global energy markets, we need to strengthen our nation’s energy security, and expanding the use of low-carbon renewable fuels like ethanol is the right move at the right time."

The E15 blend has typically been priced 15 to 25 cents per gallon less than regular gasoline (E10), with the savings reaching as much as 50 cents per gallon in some cases, according to e85prices.com.

Expanding the availability of renewable fuels like ethanol — and E15 in particular — is very popular among consumers who are concerned about high gas prices and energy insecurity, Cooper said.

In late March, RFA conducted a survey with Morning Consult, reaching more than 2,000 registered voters nationwide. The survey found that more than four out of five voters wanted to see more renewable fuel production and nearly three in four voters support increasing sales of the E15 ethanol blend.

Lisa Cleaver

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