Though the national average percentage of ethanol in gasoline came in at 9.91% in 2015, according to the Energy Information Administration, half of all states now see ethanol in more than 10% of gasoline by volume.
This means 25 states now have cracked through the E10 blend wall. The blend wall is where total ethanol production exceeds the available E10 market.
In a news release Tuesday the Renewable Fuels Association said the data suggests any legislation to change the law to limit ethanol to 9.7% may be unnecessary. Reps. Bill Flores, R-Texas, and Peter Welch, D-Vt., have offered legislation to limit ethanol content in the nation's gasoline supply to 9.7%.
"The data show that ethanol comprised 12.5% of the gasoline pool in Minnesota in 2015," the RFA said in a news release.
"Not coincidentally, ethanol flex fuels like E85 are available at roughly one out of every eight stations in the Gopher state. In Iowa, gasoline contained an average of 11.5% ethanol in 2015, up from 10.3% in 2014 and just 9.5% in 2013."
Ethanol volumes also eclipsed 10% in California, Oregon, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Louisiana. "For the first time ever, not a single state had average ethanol content below 9% in 2015, the data show," RFA said. "Vermont ranked last in average ethanol concentration at 9.18%."
The number of states poking through the blend wall was 22 in 2014. That year the national average ethanol content was 9.83%.
RFA President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Dinneen said in a statement the data underscore the Renewable Fuel Standard is working.
"As E15 and ethanol flex fuels like E85 have gained in popularity in recent years, the so-called blend wall has been reduced to a pile of rubble," Dinneen said.
"This data clearly shows that the RFS is delivering on its promise to expand consumer access to lower-cost, cleaner fuel options at the pump. And with EPA putting the RFS back on track in 2017, the share of renewables in our nation's motor fuel will only continue to grow."
Todd Neeley can be reached at email@example.com
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