March 12 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
proposal would allow year-round sales of gasoline
blended with up to 15 percent ethanol, or E15.
The proposed rulemaking would extend a 1-pound Reid
vapor pressure (RVP) waiver for the higher ethanol blend,
matching a similar waiver granted to E10 in 1991.
Another element of the plan would increase the difficulty
for refiners to trade credits for biofuel use, called renewable
identification numbers (RINs). (See sidebar on Pages 50-51
for the EPA’s explanation of RINs.)
Both elements closely resemble the Trump administration’s October directive for the EPA to expand E15 waivers
and initiate RIN trading reform.
As of press time, the EPA announced it will hold a public
hearing March 29 and accept public comments on the
proposed rule through April 29. The agency expects to adopt
a final rule by June 1, the date ethanol blends higher than 10
percent otherwise would be banned through Sept. 15.
Growth Energy, a U.S. biofuel trade association and
PEI Priority Club member, welcomed the E15 waiver but
cautioned against changes to the RIN market.
By Kristen Wright