As the partial government that includes the closure of the EPA continues, the Renewable Fuels Association is beginning to sound alarm bells on the already tight timeline the agency faces if it is to finalize a rule to allow year-round E15 sales in time for the summer driving season.
The RFA this week launched a digital advertising campaign with ads in the Washington Post as well as a new website designed to educate consumers on E15.
"It is a race against the clock for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to finalize approval for year-round E15 in advance of the summer driving season on June 1," the RFA said in a news release on Tuesday. "Last October in Iowa, President Trump directed EPA to eliminate the regulatory barriers that currently prevent the year-round sale of E15. And speaking to the American Farm Bureau Federation just yesterday, the President confirmed that his administration is "ensuring that ethanol remains a vital part of America's energy future with E15. We're making it available year-round, all 12 months, that's a big difference for the farmers."
During the current shutdown, EPA officials have stated publicly that the rule still is on track for finalizing by sometime in May.
The ads, with the tagline "E15. Clean. Affordable. Domestic. Fuel" outline the benefits of E15. Currently, E15 cannot be sold during the summer months because of concerns the fuel contributes to ozone depletion.
"E15 burns cleaner and cooler than gasoline, lowers gas prices, and reduces oil imports. Unfortunately, old regulations that protected the oil industry from competition have prevented E15 from being sold in the summer months," RFA says on the new website, https://ethanolrfa.org/…. In addition, the digital ads are available there as well.
"But President Trump promised to make E15 available all year and directed the Environmental Protection Agency to take action. EPA says it will complete action and honor President Trump's commitment before June 1, 2019. We hope they're right, and we're counting down the days left for EPA to take action on the president's pledge to eliminate the summertime ban on E15."
In addition, the RFA has posted a countdown clock to the start of the summer driving season -- 136 days away as of Tuesday.
"For far too long, consumers have been denied access to E15 during the busy summer driving season, meaning they've missed out on using a cleaner, lower-cost, higher-octane fuel," RFA President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Cooper said in a news release.
"But that's all about to change, as President Trump and EPA have promised to eliminate this barrier before summer. Even with a tight timeline and the partial government shutdown, EPA has made it clear that the regulatory fix allowing year-round E15 will be done by June 1. We look forward to consumers finally having access to E15 all year long, and this new campaign is meant to arm drivers and policymakers with the facts as E15 continues to spread across the country."
Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow me on Twitter @toddneeleyDTN
© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.