The Biden Administration announced this morning that it is taking executive action to permit E15 to be sold year-round in all parts of the country this summer.
This marks a positive development for the retail fuel industry as it will enhance retailers' optionality, impose downward pressure on retail fuel prices, and allow marketers that have been making or considering investments in E15 to have an extended period of time to be able to market the fuel.
NATSO advocated in a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency and in a series of meetings over the last several weeks that EPA take action to allow year-round E15.
The Fact Sheet making the announcement is available here.
It is unclear what the underlying legal rationale for this announcement is at this point, but indications are it will involve issuing a series of recurring 20-day waivers throughout the summer driving season. This is the same waiver authority that is used after hurricanes or other acute supply disruptions.
Any enforcement exposure for retailers selling E15 this summer appears for the moment to be minimal. It is unclear whether the refining industry will litigate this issue.
Absent a change in law, or another creative executive action, E15 will not be able to be sold year-round during the summer months in 2023 and beyond.
As noted in the White House fact sheet, the Administration is also announcing additional grant funding for biofuels infrastructure and a proposed pathway for canola oil as a feedstock for renewable diesel production.
NATSO continues to analyze these developments and will keep its members apprised of additional relevant information as it becomes available.
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