Biden Administration Will Allow E15 Fuel to Be Sold This Summer

The EPA will issue an emergency waiver and consider making year-round E15 sales permanent.

WASHINGTON, D.C.  — President Biden announced that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will issue a national, emergency waiver allowing the sale of E15 gasoline this summer.

E15, a blend containing 15-percent ethanol, is currently offered at 2,300 gas stations across the United States. At current prices, E15 can save a family 10 cents per gallon of gas on average, and many stores sell E15 at an even greater discount, the White House wrote in a statement on April 12.

"For working families — families eager to travel and visit their loved ones — that will add up to real savings. Allowing higher levels of blending will also reduce our dependency on foreign fuels as we rely more heavily on home-grown biofuels. This will help us bridge toward real energy independence," the White House stated.

In implementing this emergency fuel waiver, the EPA will work with states across the country to ensure there are no significant air quality impacts through the summer driving season. EPA is also considering additional action to facilitate the use of E15 year round, including continued discussions with states that have expressed interest in allowing year-round use of E15 and considering modifications to E15 fuel pump labeling.

The Biden Administration announced the following steps that will affect the convenience store industry:

  • $700 Million for Biofuels Producers: As part of the Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide up to $700 million in funding through a new Biofuel Producer Program. The program will support agricultural producers that rely on biofuels producers as a market for their agricultural products. Producers can expect awards before the end of April.
  • $5.6 Million for Infrastructure for Renewable Fuels Through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program: To expand the infrastructure for renewable fuels derived from U.S. agricultural products, the USDA is announcing $5.6 million in grants through the Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program. The purpose of the program is to significantly increase the sales and use of higher blends of ethanol and biodiesel.
  • $100 Million for Biofuels Infrastructure: The USDA's $100 million in new funding for grants for biofuels infrastructure will ensure that market opportunities are available for sustainable fuel sources, and that those sustainable fuels can reach consumers.

"This is welcome news for all American drivers seeking lower cost options at the pump. Lifting outdated and unnecessary summertime restrictions on E15 will ensure continued access to a fuel that has been saving drivers as much as 50 to 60 cents a gallon in recent weeks, offering working families relief at the pump at a time when they need it most," said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. "Not only is this decision a major win for American drivers and our nation's energy security, it means cleaner options at the pump and a stronger rural economy."

Added Geoff Cooper, CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association: "We applaud President Biden and his administration for recognizing that low-cost, low-carbon ethanol should be given a fair opportunity to strengthen our energy security and reduce record-high pump prices. Giving fuel retailers the freedom to offer E15 this summer will not only result in lower fuel prices for hardworking Americans, but it will also cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce tailpipe pollution linked to cancer, heart disease, respiratory illnesses, and other health concerns."

Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, continued that high fuel prices and energy security are at the forefront of Americans' minds, and allowing nationwide sales of E15 is an important step the President can take to keep fuel costs down and this summer, while promoting American-made energy.

"It would have made no sense during this time of oil embargoes and high gasoline prices to let ridiculous and unnecessary restrictions on E15 force thousands of Iowans and millions of Americans to pay higher fuel prices. E15 can now continue to bring relief at the pump throughout 2022," he said.