Potential change in EPA rules would allow year-round sales of E15

A summertime ban on E15 sales may soon be eliminated by the federal government, a move expected to help the Midwest’s corn producers and ethanol industry. In October, President Donald Trump directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to initiate a rulemaking process that allows for year-round sales.

Seven years ago, the EPA approved the use of E15 in all light-duty vehicles built in 2001 or later.

According to the Renewable Fuels Association, more than 1,300 retail stations in 29 states currently sell E15. It says allowing year-round sales would lead to a “rapid expansion” of E15 availability. Close to 90 percent of the nation’s ethanol production capacity is in the 11-state Midwest. Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana are the five leading producers of ethanol. Between 2007 and 2017, total U.S. ethanol production rose by 143 percent, from 6,521 gallons to 15,845.
A move to year-round sales requires the EPA to waive certain requirements under the Clean Air Act. The American Petroleum Institute says the federal agency does not have this authority. It also derided Trump’s directive as “anti-consumer ethanol policy,” saying a “vast majority of cars on the road were not designed to use” E15.
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Stateline Midwest: November 20182.79 MB