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Growth Energy Study Shows National Year-Round E15 Sales Would Save Drivers More Than $20B Annually

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Environmental Editor
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A new Growth Energy study finds year-round E15 sales nationally would save drivers about $20 billion annually in fuel expenses. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- As the EPA considers requests by nine states to allow E15 sales year-round in those states, a new study commissioned by Growth Energy found that allowing year-round E15 to be sold nationally would save drivers more than $20 billion annually in fuel costs.

The study conducted by ABF Economics also found such sales would create new jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy.

In particular, the study shows an annual cost savings to drives of about $20.6 billion. E15 availability would be estimated to put an additional $36.3 billion in pockets of American households, generate about $66.3 billion for the U.S. gross domestic product and support an additional 188,000 jobs.

"The price of gas remains top of mind for American families who don't want to lose access to a low-carbon, low-cost choice at the pump," Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said in a news release.

"Over the summer, E15 saved drivers up to nearly a dollar per gallon at the pump in some areas, with savings averaging to 16 cents per gallon across the country. Today's study shows that expanded, year-round access of this higher biofuel blend can provide a much-needed boost to the farm economy and even greater savings to American families."

The study's release comes after months of record-high gas prices across the country and President Joe Biden's emergency waiver to allow the sale of E15 for the 2022 summer driving season to address those prices.

"Thanks to the availability of E15, drivers found savings of up to nearly a dollar per gallon at the pump by filling up with this higher blend of biofuel," Growth Energy said in a news release.

E15 is sold at more than 2,700 stations in 31 states, and drivers have chosen the biofuel blend to fuel 35 billion miles total, according to Growth Energy. E15 is approved for cars 2001 and newer -- more than 96% of cars on the road.

ABF Economics examined June 2021 economic research using updated summer retail sales data from Oil Pricing Information Service, or OPIS, across 29 states from May to August 2022, according to Growth Energy.

Also, on the E15 front, the Renewable Fuels Association said in a blog post on Tuesday that the Biden administration's emergency waiver issued to allow E15 sales to continue this past summer allowed for an additional 194 million gallons of E15 to be sold.

RFA said those sales resulted in saving American consumers about $57 million.

On May 30, 2019, the EPA issued a regulation that allowed E15 to be sold year-round. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, however, ruled in favor of the oil industry that sued EPA on the E15 regulation.

The RFA blog said E15 sales increased significantly in the summer of 2022, while overall gasoline consumption was stagnant.

"Furthermore, E15 was available at a substantial discount to regular unleaded gasoline at a time of record prices," the RFA blog said.

"In addition to the economic benefits, using E15 in place of E10 reduces greenhouse gas emissions by about 3%, and E15 also reduces emissions of the pollutants that lead to ground-level ozone and smog. Thus, by extending the fuel supply at lower cost and with reduced emissions, E15 has been a win-win-win choice for American drivers in 2022."

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