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Secretary Naig Calls on Biden EPA to Allow Summer Sales of E15

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging Administrator Michael Regan to immediately sign an “emergency waiver” to allow summer sales of E15 in 2024. Also known as Unleaded 88, E15 is a homegrown fuel that saves drivers money, is renewable and cleaner burning, and makes our country more energy independent.

In February, the EPA approved a request by Governor Reynolds and seven other Midwest governors to allow the sale of E15 fuel year-round beginning in 2025. While the news was generally welcomed, the decision was more than a year late as required by law, Attorney General Brenna Bird had to file a lawsuit to force EPA to act, and the rule inexplicably did not apply to 2024.

Now, as the summer driving season quickly approaches, everyone from drivers to gas station owners are stuck in a state of limbo awaiting news if an “emergency waiver” will be put in place for this summer.

“With the summer driving season just weeks away, the Biden Administration must take immediate action to ensure that Iowa drivers do not lose access to lower cost E15,” said Secretary Naig. “At a time when inflation is running hot, oil prices are rising and global events are producing turmoil, year-round E15 would provide significant savings to consumers, help America be more energy independent and reduce emissions.”

In his letter, Secretary Naig shared some recent data and facts to support the need to allow year-round E15:
•    Year-round E15 would save Iowa drivers an estimated $38.4 million at the pump this year as compared to E10.
•    E15 is the cleanest burning fuel option for 96 percent of vehicles on the road today.  
•    Consumers want E15, and demand is increasing as more stations upgrade their infrastructure to offer higher blends of ethanol. 
      o    In 2023, 178.5 million gallons of E15 were sold, a dramatic increase of 47.4 percent compared to 2022. 
      o    In 2023, 13.3 percent of all gasoline sales were E15, compared to 9.5 percent in 2022. 

Secretary Naig also reminded the Biden Administration about the importance of the biofuels industry to Iowa. As the national leader in ethanol production, Iowa was the first state to adopt an E15 standard, and the biofuels industry continues to create markets for farmers and jobs for Iowans in rural communities.

Source : iowaagriculture.gov

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