The Minnesota Corn Growers Association is pleased to see the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established a rule that will finally allow for year-round sales of E15. Announced today, the rule removes an outdated barrier that prevented retailers from selling E15 to non-Flex Fuel Vehicles during the summer months.
Today’s announcement follows a promise from the Trump Administration last October that consumers would soon have access to year-round E15. MCGA commends President Trump for making this rule a reality for corn farmers and drivers who now have another option at the pump.
“We thank President Trump, USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue and the EPA for finally bringing year-round E15 to consumers. Today’s announcement is a much-needed positive development for corn farmers nationwide who have faced a challenging spring, as well as a win for the millions of drivers who can now choose an ethanol-blended fuel with clean air benefits at a lower cost,” MCGA President Brian Thalmann said.
The National Corn Growers Association, MCGA and thousands of corn farmers nationwide submitted comments in April to press the need to ensure there would not be an interruption in E15 sales between June and September. MCGA comments also cautioned the EPA against finalizing proposed Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market rule changes that would be counterproductive to greater biofuels blending supported by the E15 rule.
MCGA appreciates that the final rule focuses on RIN market transparency and data, but more work is necessary to ensure ethanol demand. The EPA currently has 39 waiver petitions pending for the 2018 RFS compliance year. In order for the full benefits of today’s rule to be realized, it is imperative no additional biofuel gallons are waived from the nation’s fuel supply.
Overall, the announcement of year-round sales is a major win for Minnesota farmers and consumers. Since 2014, MCGA and biofuel supporters across the state have made a major investment in ethanol infrastructure. With the investment, the number of retailers offering E15 in the state grew from only 14 four years ago to now more than 300 stations today. Minnesota continues to set record high E15 sales each year.