ALEXANDRIA, Va.—NACS asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to authorize the year-round sale of gasoline blended with up to 15% ethanol (E15) to reduce the U.S.’s reliance on foreign energy sources.
“This common-sense step would provide much-needed price relief at the pump while enhancing America’s energy security and improving gasoline’s emissions characteristics,” wrote NACS, along with NATSO and SIGMA, in a letter to the EPA.
Congress has given the EPA the authority to allow E15 fuel to be sold year-round when there are extreme or unusual fuel or fuel additive supply circumstances. Oil prices are spiking in large part due to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and in February ahead of the invasion, inflation rose to its highest level in 40 years. Neither of these trends is likely to dissipate in the coming months, according to NACS.
If there are additional, unforeseen developments, these challenges may be hard to overcome, says NACS.
“Fuel marketers and retailers could not have planned for these events. Allowing the year-round sale of E15 in all parts of the country would help enhance supply and lower prices for all American fuel consumers,” writes NACS. “This is a unique situation where the administration’s energy security and geopolitical objectives are fully aligned with its environmental priorities. Allowing year-round E15 would make the U.S. more energy secure, enhancing the nation’s geopolitical leverage, all the while improving gasoline’s emissions characteristics.”
U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-SD) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) are leading a bipartisan congressional group in urging President Biden to permit retailers to sell E15 fuel all year.
“As the United States joins global partners in seeking to hold accountable and isolate the Russian Federation for its unprovoked assault on Ukraine, we must deny Russia’s economic lifeblood of energy dominance,” the senators wrote in letter to the president. “This will require tapping every accessible contribution of American energy technology. As you know, American biofuels are one such readily available energy solution that offer consumers affordable and cleaner options at the pump.”