Administration Takes Peterson’s Advice on Year-round E15

Oct 9, 2018 Issues: Energy

WASHINGTON – Following the announcement today of year-round sales of fuel blends containing 15 percent ethanol, or E15, House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member and Congressional Biofuels Caucus Co-Chair Collin Peterson, D-Minn., welcomed the news and pushed for legislation to make progress on renewable fuels more permanent.

“It’s about time,” said Peterson. “I’ve been a consistent advocate for year-round sales of E15, and I’m glad to see a step in the right direction. However, today’s action will likely get tied up in the courts, so passing legislation remains the most reliable avenue to finally getting this done.” 

Peterson founded the Congressional Biofuels Caucus to educate Congressional colleagues and work with the Executive Branch on the benefits of promoting American-grown biofuels. Since that time, Congressman Peterson and the Caucus pushed the Trump and Obama Administrations, met with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, and cosponsored legislation to require the year-round sale of E15.

The Administration’s actions today will likely be challenged in court by the oil industry. Congressman Peterson remains hopeful that this decision will spark movement on E15 legislation already introduced in Congress. 

Allowing the sale of E15 year-round isn’t a mandate, but simply makes the fuel available during the summer months. Due to language in the law governing the Renewable Fuel Standard, E15 previously could not be sold between June 1 and September 15, after EPA did not grant E15 the same Reid Vapor Pressure waiver as E10. By leveling the regulatory playing field with year-round sales, retailers be able to offer this lower cost fuel option to consumers all year.

“Year-round sales of E15 will provide a needed boost to the ethanol industry, and give corn farmers access to a broader segment of the domestic fuels market at a time when they are struggling with depressed commodity prices, adverse weather conditions, and an ongoing trade war,” said Peterson. “I’m also encouraged by the Administration’s efforts to bring more transparency to the Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) market within the RFS. Clarity on both issues will help to provide more certainty for farmers and industry moving forward.”