LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- The White House Office of Management and Budget has launched an official review of a request by governors in nine states to change federal law to allow permanent year-round E15 sales, according to a posting on the OMB's website.
The move comes as agricultural groups are pushing Congress to pass a year-round E15 bill before lawmakers adjourn for the year.
From April to June, nine states including Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin asked EPA to begin a rulemaking that would place E10 and E15 on equal regulatory footing in the summer months beginning in 2023.
OMB reviews typically take up to 60 days to complete.
Currently year-round E15 sales are curtailed by the EPA in high-ozone regions of the country from June to September.
Earlier this year, the Biden administration granted an emergency waiver to continue E15 sales in the summer months. A Trump administration rule that allowed E15 year-round was struck down by a federal court.
"OMB review marks an important step in this process, and we are pleased to see that the governors petition is moving ahead," Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said in a statement.
"This means the petition remains on track for approval before summer 2023, just as (EPA) Administrator (Michael) Regan outlined a few months ago. Of course, a legislative fix that applies nationwide (like the one introduced last week by Sens. Fischer and Klobuchar) would obviate the need for this multi-state petition, and we are actively pursuing that approach for E15 market access as well."
More than 250 agriculture, biofuels and oil industry groups and companies pressed Congressional leadership on Wednesday to pass legislation to provide E15 year-round across the country, https://www.dtnpf.com/…
The Clean Air Act allows governors to notify EPA that they wish to reject the use of the 1-psi waiver for E10 in their states. This would result in the application of the same volatility limitation to both E15 and E10 -- essentially putting E10 and E15 on the same footing.
This would compel fuel suppliers to reduce RVP of CBOB, a common grade of gasoline produced by refiners in the U.S., from 8.8 to 7.8 psi. The Clean Air Act requires governors to show such action would benefit air quality in their states.
As part of the application, the states provided the results of a study conducted by Ecoengineering Inc., which showed all states would improve air quality by eliminating the 1-psi waiver.
According to the RFA, the nine states consume nearly 20 billion gallons of gasoline annually and represent about 14% of all gasoline consumption in the U.S.
In addition, about 59% of all retail stations in the U.S. that sell E15 operate in the nine states. With gasoline prices soaring to all-time-high levels, E15 blends currently save about 40 cents per gallon compared to E10 and regular gasoline.
Read more on DTN:
"List of Midwest States Seeking E15 Rulemaking Grows to Nine With Ohio Request," https://www.dtnpf.com/…
Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow him on Twitter @DTNeeley
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