President Biden announced the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will allow year-round sales of E15, ending summer restrictions on the sale of E15, during his visit to POET’s bioethanol plant in Menlo, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Biden called this “the latest step in expanding Americans’ access to affordable fuel supply and bringing relief to Americans suffering from Putin’s Price Hike at the pump,” per the White House. “EPA is also considering additional action to facilitate the use of E15 year-round.
The EPA waiver is necessary because “E15 cannot be used in most of the country from June 1st to September 15th,” the White House said. “The EPA plans to take final action to issue the emergency waiver closer to June 1st.” E15 is gasoline blended with 10.5% to 15% ethanol, according to the EPA.
Freeing up the use of E15 could help ease gas prices. “E15 is about 10 cents a gallon cheaper than E10, and some gas stations offer an even bigger discount than that,” said President Biden.
“The President believes that the actions of a dictator half a world away should not impact what families pay at the pump here at home. Today’s actions also reinforce the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of achieving real energy independence and commitment to a long-term strategy to spur smart development and adoption of sustainable, homegrown fuels,” the White House said.
“You simply can’t get to net zero by 2050 without biofuels,” Biden said. The Biden administration set a goal of zero-carbon aviation by 2050, which will require “billions of gallons of sustainable aviation fuel.”
President Biden also voiced support for sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), noting “I’ve proposed a SAF tax credit … to advance cleaner and more sustainable fuels for American aviation.”
A call for further action
The announcement comes after bipartisan Members of Congress and others requested the waiver, as we reported. While allowing greater use of E15 is a positive step, Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) has called for additional support for biofuels, including a sustainable aviation fuel tax credit.
“Every driver should have the freedom to choose a fuel that’s better for their wallet, their health, and the environment,” said Jeff Broin, Founder and CEO of POET, which is a member of BIO. “Plant-based bioethanol is the only liquid fuel that can check all those boxes, and it’s produced by Americans, for Americans, right here in the Heartland.”