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ACE Testifies on EPA’s E15 Rule for Midwest States in 2024, Urges Agency to Issue Emergency Waiver for 2023

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Ron Lamberty testified today during a virtual public hearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule in response to the requests from Midwest governors to remove the 1-psi volatility waiver for gasoline-ethanol blends containing 10 percent ethanol in their states. EPA is proposing to remove the 1-psi waiver in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin starting in the summer of 2024.

Lamberty’s testimony highlights that while EPA justifies delaying the effective date of the rule to 2024 by saying it had to thoroughly consider challenges to every step of the supply chain from refinery to delivery, EPA conspicuously gives zero consideration to the economic impact their delay will have on E15 retailers and the consumers who use the fuel.

“Retailers who have offered E15 and consumers who have purchased E15 in 2020, 2021, 2022, and who will be able to use it in 2024, will now have to quit selling and using E15 for three and a half months because of EPA foot-dragging,” Lamberty said. “Retailers will have increased costs from having to clean out and switch fuels in their tanks twice, those with blender pumps will incur service charges to adjust products blended twice, and pump decals will have to be changed twice.”

Lamberty adds, “More importantly, the retailers and consumers using E15 do so because it costs 5 to 15 cents less than E10 and 40 to 75 cents less than non-ethanol gasolines. Now they’ll have to spend more for fuel during the busiest time of the year because EPA didn’t get its work done on time.”

The testimony concludes by urging the Biden administration to issue an emergency waiver in 2023 for all conventional gasoline areas of the country, consistent with a recent request by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators.

While this rule would ensure retailers in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin can continue to sell E15 without interruption starting in 2024, ACE is working with Congress to enact bipartisan legislation to permanently allow blends above E10 to be used nationwide. The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (H.R. 1608, S. 785) is a major priority of Hill visits during ACE’s fly-in next week March 29-30.

You can read Lamberty’s full testimony here.

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