The U.S. ethanol industry is celebrating a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to lift a summertime ban on the use of E15, a high octane fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol. The EPA’s action allows the sale of E15 fuel throughout the year.
“This is an important milestone for the ethanol industry that should significantly increase the amount of ethanol blended into gasoline. As a result, it will help us further reduce emissions and lower prices at the pump,” said Greg Thompson, PureField Ingredients CEO.
E15 is typically priced about 5 to 10 cents cheaper than regular gasoline. But because E15 could not be sold during the summer, many gas stations simply chose not to sell E15 fuel at all.
According to the Renewable Fuels Association, E15 was approved for use in model year 2001 and newer vehicles by the EPA in 2012. The group says 90 percent of cars on the road are approved to run on E15.
“Following President Trump’s directive, today’s action expands the market for biofuels and improves the RFS program by increasing transparency and reducing price manipulation,” EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said.
Growth Energy, the nation’s largest association of ethanol producers and supporters, said the final rule will benefit drivers and farmers alike.
“We estimate this one change will generate over a billion new gallons of ethanol demand in the next five years,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. “We are grateful to President Trump for delivering on his promise to unleash the power of E15 all year-long.“