NATSO Executive Vice President of Government Affairs David Fialkov testified before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that while the fuel retailing industry supports the year-round sale of gasoline containing 15 percent ethanol, questions remain that the agency must answer for industry to ensure the best path forward.
EPA solicited industry comment after recommending the approval of a petition from a group of Midwest governors to permit year-round E15 sales in their respective states effective in 2024.
Fialkov said during the March 21 hearing that the "ethanol industry and its advocates would be wise to take caution in the fact that the policies being pursued now are the first time that ethanol advocacy will result in higher rather than lower gasoline prices."
Fialkov commended the agency for soliciting industry input on what is a politcally challenging issue.
NATSO supports removing unnecessary regulatory barriers to the sale of higher ethanol blends and thinks E15 offers retailers an opportunity to diversify fuel options and improve gasoline’s emissions characteristics while lowering costs for consumers. In prior years, EPA issued recurring emergency waivers to allow the sale of E15 during the summer in response to extreme and unusual fuel or fuel additive supply circumstances that prevent the distribution of an adequate supply the fuel or fuel additive to consumers.
EPA recently had proposed allowing a group of Midwestern states to opt out of the federal RVP requirements, which would allow them to sell E15 even if no federal waiver was issued. NATSO is concerned that this could result in storage, distribution and logistical complexities if all states are not required to adhere to the same standard.
A bipartisan group of senators led by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) recently introduced legislation that would allow sales of E15 year-round, however that legislation is not expected to advance in time for the summer driving season.
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