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Ag, Biofuels, Oil Coalition Pushes for E15 Legislative Fix in 11th Hour of Lame-Duck Session

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Environmental Editor
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More than 250 groups have asked Congressional leaders to pass legislation to provide year-round E15. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- A coalition of more than 250 agriculture, biofuels and petroleum groups and companies has asked House and Senate leaders to pass a bill recently introduced in the Senate that would allow permanent year-round E15 sales.

Senate bill 5145, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022, would apply the same fuel volatility limit to all conventional gasoline blends during the summer ozone control season. Currently, E15 sales are banned from June to September, in high-ozone regions of the country.

"We urge Congress to quickly adopt this legislation that permanently resolves inconsistent fuel-volatility rules," said the letter sent to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday.

"Due to legislation that was passed three decades ago, a one pound per square inch Reid vapor pressure volatility allowance is currently available only to gasoline blends containing 10% ethanol. Gasoline containing 15% percent ethanol is not provided the same RVP tolerance as E10, even though the fuel is slightly less volatile than E10.

"Due to the current policy, it is extremely difficult for many fuel marketers and retailers that may desire to offer E15 to their customers in the summer months to source that product."

The letter is signed by a who's who of agriculture and biofuels groups and companies,….

The current lame-duck session of Congress is just days away from ending.

"These issues led a number of governors to recently petition the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate the one-psi RVP allowance for E10 in their states," the letter said.

"This approach would essentially require the same gasoline blend stock to be used for the sale of E10 and E15 in these states, which could require adjustments in fuel supply logistics in those states. Our groups have come together -- for the first time ever -- to support legislation that would resolve this issue once and for all. Accordingly, we support legislation that extends the one-psi RVP tolerance to all gasoline blends containing 10% ethanol or more, while simultaneously nullifying the recent state petitions to eliminate the one-psi allowance for E10."

Resolving the issue legislatively, they said, would help provide a more consistent national, state-by-state policy.

Without the legislation, the letter said, it is likely the gasoline market would continue to experience "uncertainty and political disputes" about E15 resurface each summer.

Read more on DTN:

"Ag, Energy Groups Press Congress on E15,"…

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