The National Sorghum Producers joined the National Corn Growers Assn., American Farm Bureau Federation and National Farmers Union in signing a letter to members of the House and Senate in support of removing an unnecessary Environmental Protection Agency limitation on fuel retailers that would give consumers a choice at the pump that saves them money, enhances vehicle performance and improves the environment.
In 1990, Congress limited the amount of evaporative emissions from fuels to 9 psi of Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP). Pure ethanol has 3 psi of RVP, but when it's combined with gasoline at low levels, fuel RVP can exceed 9 psi. As a result, Congress allowed fuel with 10% ethanol to have a 1 psi of RVP waiver. EPA has extended that relief to blends of less than 10% but has declined to extend the relief to blends greater than 10%, such as E15.
The real-world impact of this EPA barrier is that retailers in most areas of the country cannot offer E15 during the summer driving season that runs from June 1 through Sept. 15, so many simply do not offer the blend at all. However, retailers in air quality non-attainment areas can offer E15 year-round due to the greater reduction in exhaust emissions, and retailers have been doing so in increasing numbers.