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EPA to allow E15 fuel sales this summer

In another attempt to addressing rising gasoline prices (earlier post), President Biden announced that the EPA Administrator is planning to allow E15 gasoline—gasoline that uses a 15% ethanol blend—to be sold this summer. To make E15 available in the summer, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to issue a national, emergency waiver.

Without this action, E15 cannot be used in most of the country from 1 June to 15 September due to EPA restrictions on air pollution. (The EPA under the Trump Administration had approved year-round sales of E15 in 2019; that ruling was reversed by a US appeals court in July 2021.)

The EPA plans to take final action to issue the emergency waiver closer to 1 June. E15 is currently offered at 2,300 gas stations in the country, where it can serve as a more affordable source of fuel, the Biden Administration said. The ban on summer sales affects about 80% of those locations; it does not halt year-round E15 sales in reformulated gasoline markets.

Refueling with E15 could reduce the price per gallon by about 10 cents.

E15 can be used in: Flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs); Model year 2001 and newer cars; Model year 2001 and newer light-duty trucks; and Model year 2001 and newer medium-duty passenger vehicles (SUVs).

In implementing this emergency fuel waiver, 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 who have expressed interest in allowing year-round use of E15 and considering modifications to E15 fuel pump labeling.


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