Ethanol Blog

Three States Ask for Waiver to Allow E15 Sales to Continue Come June 1

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Environmental Editor
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Attorneys general in Iowa and Kansas, and the governor of Minnesota have asked EPA for a waiver to allow E15 sales to continue during the upcoming summer driving season starting June 1. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- Attorneys general in Iowa, Kansas and the governor of Minnesota asked the EPA for a waiver to allow E15 sales to continue in their states when those sales are set to end starting on June 1, the start of the summer driving season.

In recent weeks, EPA Ag Advisor Rod Snyder told a group of ethanol producers and farmers during an ethanol forum in Nebraska that the agency is working on a way to allow E15 sales to continue.

Because of a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last year, year-round E15 sales in all areas of the country ended. The court ruled the agency's action completed during the Trump administration was unlawful.

Snyder said EPA is working with several states, looking at how the law could be used to restore year-round sales at least for 2022. Specifically, he said, the Clean Air Act allows the governor of a state to file new requests for a 1-pound psi volatility waiver to allow for gasoline ethanol blends like E15 to be sold.

The EPA received at least two requests from states for the waiver.

On April 1, the agency received a letter from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, asking for a waiver for both states.

"Doing so will give the citizens of our states relief from the volatile and record-high gas prices, including price increases caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine," the AGs said.

"Given all the benefits to our states and the nation, we urge the EPA to take action now. With your support, home-grown E15 can play an important role addressing our current fuel challenges."

In a separate letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan also on April 1, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said his state needs to continue to have E15 sales to respond to "geopolitical unrest in Ukraine" that has led to "extreme volatility and unprecedented" gasoline prices in Minnesota.

"In recent weeks, E15 retail prices at the pump have typically been 5 cents to 10 cents per gallon below prices for E10, and 60 cents to 70 cents per gallon below prices for gasoline with no ethanol," Walz said in the letter.

"The emergency waiver I am requesting allows fuel retailers to maintain continuity in offering lower-cost E15 to their customers at a time when family budges are being stretched thin by record-high gas prices."

Read more on DTN:

"EPA's Snyder: E15 Work Underway,"…

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