The Biden Administration has announced its intent to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to issue a waiver allowing year-round sales of fuel blended with 15 percent ethanol. A fact sheet released on the White House website Tuesday morning calls homegrown biofuels including ethanol, “critical to expanding Americans’ options for affordable fuel in the short-term and to building real energy independence in the long-term by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.” E15 is sold at over 2300 convenience stores across the nation, usually at a cheaper price than unblended gasoline. The emergency waiver will bypass Reid Vapor Pressure requirements that prevent sales of E15 during the summertime in most markets. The White House adds that the waiver is the latest step to bringing relief at the pump called by what they term “Putin’s Price Hike”, spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent shunning of Russian exports in the marketplace. President Biden is expected to visit an ethanol plant in Iowa later Tuesday to formally announce the waiver.
The Renewable Fuels Association quickly applauded the White House’s action. RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper said in a statement that the Biden Administration is recognizing that low-cost, low-carbon ethanol should be given a fair opportunity to strengthen America’s energy security and reduce record-high pump prices. Cooper stressed that giving fuel retailers the freedom to offer E15 in the summer will not only result in lower fuel prices, but also cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce tailpipe pollution.