WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMBD) — The decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to issue an emergency fuel waiver that allows the sale of E15 gasoline — gasoline blended with 15% ethanol — during the summer driving season was hailed by two U.S. Senate leaders.
Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Minority Whip John Thune (R-SD), issued a joint statement praising the move.
“We are pleased that EPA heeded our calls and is using its existing authority to prevent the disruption of sales of E15 fuel this summer. It remains a straightforward, no-cost solution to recommit our nation’s broader response to the effect of Russia’s actions in Ukraine and the war’s collateral effect on fuel markets while advancing our domestic energy and environmental needs,” the two said in a news release.
Current estimates indicate that on average, E15 is about 25 cents a gallon cheaper than E10, according to the EPA.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting Americans from fuel supply challenges resulting from the ongoing war in Ukraine by ensuring consumers have more choices at the pump,” said EPA Administrator Michael Regan. “Allowing E15 sales during the summer driving season will not only help increase fuel supply, but support American farmers, strengthen U.S. energy security, and provide relief to drivers across the country.”
Currently, in roughly two-thirds of the country, E15 cannot be sold from terminals starting on May 1 and at retail stations starting on June 1. EPA is providing relief by extending the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that currently applies to E10 gasoline to E15, which will enable E15 sales throughout the summer driving season in these areas, if necessary. This action only extends the 1-psi waiver to E15 in parts of the country where it already exists for E10. E15 can already be sold year-round in parts of the country that have a Reformulated Gasoline (RFG) program.
EPA does not expect any impact on air quality from this limited action. EPA’s research has shown no significant impact on evaporative emissions when the 1-psi waiver is extended to E15. With no significant impacts on emissions from cars and trucks, we expect consumers can continue to use E15 without concern that its use in the summer will impact air quality.
For more information on this announcement, please visit EPA’s Fuel Waivers webpage.