White House to Greenlight Year-Round E15 Availability by 2025: Midwest Governors' Request Answered, Promising Environmental and Economic Benefits

Lindsay Croke

Feb 22, 2024  |  ICGA |  Ethanol

The White House announced today that it will answer the April 2022 request of Governor Pritzker and seven other Midwest governors to make E15 available year round starting in 2025. E15 is a 15 percent blend of ethanol to petroleum fuel, also known as Unleaded 88, which is cleaner for the environment and cheaper at the pump.

 

“This news is great for all Illinoisans,” said Dave Rylander, IL Corn Growers Association President and farmer from Victoria. “Farmers will benefit from this option at the pump that boosts ethanol use, and everyone will benefit from cheaper fuel. Consumers deserve a choice at the pump and a higher blend of ethanol will be a great choice this summer.”

 

“The ethanol industry in Illinois applauds Gov. Pritzker for his leadership in joining with other Midwest governors to petition the EPA for year-round E15. With this new rule, beginning in 2025, Illinoisans will now have year-round access to blends of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol across the state. E15 has long been a product in the marketplace that saves consumers money and lowers carbon emissions from our transportation sector, all thanks to homegrown biofuels,” said Dustin Marquis, President of Illinois Renewable Fuels Association (ILRFA) and Director of Government Relations for Marquis Energy in Hennepin.

 

Despite E15 having a lower Reid vapor pressure (RVP) than most fuel on the market, outdated regulations excluded it from being sold during summer months. The eight governors requested a waiver through the Clean Air Act for lower-volatility gasoline during summer months. According to the statutory deadline, EPA was required to respond to this request within 90 days; however, it took the agency nearly two years from the initial request to issue the proposed rule.

 

“This announcement was a long time coming, and while we are grateful for the administration’s support of higher ethanol blends, it’s disappointing that the waiver won’t be effective until 2025, forcing these states to sit and wait longer for a temporary 2024 fix,” said Rylander.

 

Even after today’s announcement, a permanent legislative fix is still needed. Two opportunities for such a solution exist – the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act in the Senate would fix the E15 issue for good. So would the Next Generation Fuels Act, bipartisan legislation in both the House and the Senate that would solve this problem and would bring America a high octane, low carbon fuel standard to clean up the transportation sector while still maintaining liquid fuels.

 

The use of E15 was approved by EPA in 2011 for all 2001 and newer vehicles, accounting for more than 96 percent of vehicles on the road today.