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Brian JenningsMay 17, 20242 min read

Third Year in a Row for Emergency E15 Waiver

In mid-April, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it is issuing an emergency fuel waiver to allow E15 to be sold during the summer driving season in response to the ongoing impact of the war in Ukraine and new conflicts in the Middle East. This marks the third consecutive year the Biden administration has invoked emergency authority to allow E15 year-round.

This gives consumers in conventional gasoline areas of the U.S. access to a lower cost and cleaner choice at the pump from June 1st through September 15th. Recent volatility in crude oil and retail gasoline markets caused by events in the Middle East are important reminders that E15 and higher ethanol blends play a critical part in domestic energy security.

We are grateful EPA has once again responded to our requests for a national emergency waiver for E15. ACE members pushed EPA to take this action during our DC fly-in and nearly 100 of our grassroots advocates were mobilized through our online action center to contact President Biden and EPA Administrator Regan in support of an emergency waiver before the start of the 2024 summer driving season.

While the Biden administration has rightfully exercised emergency authority to enable nationwide
access to E15 for three summer driving seasons, ultimately Congress must adopt the bipartisan
Nationwide Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 2707) to ensure continuous access to E15 nationwide. A national permanent solution will avoid the need to rely on emergency conditions in the market and ad hoc EPA decision making in the future.

For some states, a permanent solution is secured. Earlier this year, the Biden administration finally confirmed E15 can permanently be offered in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin, but postponed year-round access in those eight states until the summer of 2025. That action combined with EPA’s emergency waiver for 2024 essentially cements E15 as a year-round fuel in these eight states for perpetuity.

The knowledge that eight states have now secured year-round E15 availability will further motivate refiners, who are already on record in support of legislation to nationalize E15, to push even harder for Congress to act so there is one rule that applies for the entire country.

We have reached a stage where this is long overdue as more than 95% of all U.S. vehicles are approved to use E15 and nearly 3,400 retail sites offer E15 across 30 states. E15 typically costs 5 to 25 cents per gallon less than E10 and 40 cents to $1.00 less than nonethanol gasolines. E15 also has a higher-octane rating, so allowing its sale gives consumers the option to buy a higher quality product for less money.