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Midwest AgEnergy Submits Comments on E15

Midwest AgEnergy Submits Comments on E15

Underwood, ND - Midwest AgEnergy (MAG), the parent company to ethanol biorefineries, Blue Flint, near Underwood, ND and Dakota Spirit, near Spiritwood, ND, today announced it has submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding use of gasoline with up to 15 percent ethanol content. 
 
EPA requested comments on regulatory changes which would make E15 available to consumers all year, and on reforming the trading of renewable credits under the Renewable Fuel Standard.  President Trump requested EPA examine these issues in an October 2018 Presidential Directive.  E15 is approved for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles but sales have been restricted during the summer driving season.
 
For much of the country, gasoline emissions regulations prohibit selling fuel with vapor pressure higher than nine pounds per square inch (psi) during the summer driving season,  In 1979, EPA allowed gasoline with 10 percent ethanol content to have vapor pressure of 10 psi because of the environmental and economic benefits of burning ethanol in gasoline.  This is commonly called the “-one pound waiver”. The proposed EPA rule would extend the one pound waiver granted to ethanol blends containing 10 percent ethanol to blends containing 15 percent ethanol.  
 
According to Adam Dunlop, Director, Regulatory and Technical Services at MAG, “It has been with great frustration we have watched a technicality in environmental laws prevent widespread adoption of a fuel that lowers emissions.  Gasoline with ethanol blended at 10% makes up over 98% of US gasoline supply.  EPA’s own analysis accepts that E15 has lower levels of evaporative emissions than E10.  It is hard to believe for the last nine years evaporative emissions regulations have been preventing E15 from year round sales when E15 actually decreases evaporative emissions!  We are delighted EPA has now identified two separate and compelling legal interpretations which enable E15 to be a fuel choice for consumers all year long.” 

The ethanol and agriculture industries would like to see EPA finalize the rule prior to summer vapor pressure restrictions which start on June 1.  American farmers’ pocketbooks have been hit hard with the downturn in commodities markets.  Greater demand for ethanol will help improve prices farmers receive for their crops, such as corn.  E15 increases fuel octane and saves consumers about $0.05 per gallon at the pump.
 
Midwest AgEnergy has posted their comments here as guidance for those wishing to also submit comments.  Comments are due April 29 and can be submitted to the EPA, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2018-0775,

 

Midwest AgEnergy's comments: click here