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January 15, 2019
It is a race against the clock for the Environmental Protection Agency to finalize approval for year-round E15 in advance of the summer driving season on June 1. Last October, in Iowa, President Donald Trump directed EPA to eliminate the regulatory barriers that currently prevent the year-round sale of E15.
While speaking to the American Farm Bureau Federation on Jan. 14, the President confirmed that his Administration is “ensuring that ethanol remains a vital part of America’s energy future with E15. We’re making it available year-round, all 12 months. That’s a big difference for the farmers.”
With fewer than five months before the start of the summer driving season, the Renewable Fuels Assn. (RFA) has launched an awareness campaign to educate consumers and policy-makers about the benefits of E15 (a gasoline blend containing 15% ethanol) in anticipation of the blend being available year-round. The campaign kicked off this week with digital ads on The Washington Post and the launch of a new consumer-facing website.
RFA said in a statement that even with the partial government shutdown dragging on, EPA has promised that this regulatory barrier will be removed in time for consumers to be able to enjoy the benefits of E15 this summer and the rest of the year.
The ads, with the tagline “E15. Clean. Affordable. Domestic. Fuel,” outline the numerous benefits of using E15, a fuel that can be used in more than 90% of the vehicles on the road today. Currently, E15 cannot be sold during the summer months in most of the country, as a result of a burdensome, decades-old regulation with no environmental or economic benefit.
“E15 burns cleaner and cooler than gasoline, lowers gas prices and reduces oil imports. Unfortunately, old regulations that protected the oil industry from competition have prevented E15 from being sold in the summer months,” RFA explains on its new site, which can be viewed here along with the digital ads. “But President Trump promised to make E15 available all year and directed the Environmental Protection Agency to take action. EPA says it will complete action and honor President Trump’s commitment before June 1, 2019. We hope they’re right, and we’re counting down the days left for EPA to take action on the President’s pledge to eliminate the summertime ban on E15.”
The site also features a countdown clock to the start of the summer driving season on June 1, 2019, which — as of Jan. 15 — is just 136 days away.
“For far too long, consumers have been denied access to E15 during the busy summer driving season, meaning they’ve missed out on using a cleaner, lower-cost, higher-octane fuel, but that’s all about to change, as President Trump and EPA have promised to eliminate this barrier before summer,” RFA president and chief executive officer Geoff Cooper said. “Even with a tight timeline and the partial government shutdown, EPA has made it clear that the regulatory fix allowing year-round E15 will be done by June 1. We look forward to consumers finally having access to E15 all year long, and this new campaign is meant to arm drivers and policy-makers with the facts as E15 continues to spread across the country.”
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