Seven governors want to open a dialogue with the Environmental Protection Agency
By Diego Flammini
Seven Midwestern governors want to work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on laying the groundwork for year-round E15 availability.
The bipartisan governors from Iowa (Kim Reynolds), Nebraska (Pete Ricketts), North Dakota (Doug Burgum), South Dakota (Kristi Noem), Missouri (Michael Parson), Minnesota (Tim Walz) and Wisconsin (Tony Evers), sent a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on Nov. 4 asking for collaboration on the issue.
“In the wake of the court decision, we are exploring all of our options to ensure retailers are able to sell E15 to consumers all year long without interruption,” the letter says.
In July, the D.C. Circuit Court overturned a Trump-era rule to allow E15 to be sold during summer months.
Summer blends are usually limited to 10 percent ethanol to help control smog in warmer weather.
In 2019, U.S. farmers produced about 13.66 billion bushels of corn. Of those, about 5.38 billion were used to make ethanol, the U.S. Department of Energy says.
Under the Clean Air Act, governors can ask the EPA to allow E15 to be sold in individual states all year.
The Midwest governors are looking at all options to ensure this renewable fuel is available.
“The disappointing DC Circuit Court ruling earlier this year again shows the inconsistency we continue to see from Washington, DC and the EPA on renewable fuels, and it is time for states to stand up and take action,” Gov. Reynolds said in a Nov. 4 statement. “As the Governor of the top renewable fuel-producing state, I am proud to lead a letter with my colleagues to send a clear message that we will pursue every avenue to ensure that consumers can have unrestricted and increased access to less expensive, cleaner-burning E-15.”
Industry groups support the seven governors taking this approach.
Allowing these states to sell E15 throughout the year would expand ethanol consumption by nearly 700 million gallons and boost corn demand by about 225 million bushels, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) said.
“Ethanol producers and farmers stand with these governors, and we will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit of an open and competitive marketplace for E15 and other lower-cost, lower-carbon ethanol blends,” RFA President Geoff Cooper said in a release.