Even though fuel prices remain high, the increased use of corn ethanol is helping temper those price increases. And it’s also benefiting the farmers who grow the corn.Read More
In late April, Ohio Farm Bureau, along with the Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association and the Ohio Ethanol Producers Association, sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine asking him to notify the U.S. EPA that Ohio wishes to implement the sale of E15 year-round. Currently, E15, or sometimes called Unleaded 88, cannot be sold year-round due to outdated restrictions on vapor pressure at the pump. The governor made that request in early June in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan
“When petroleum makers blend their base gasoline with ethanol, there is a chemical reaction that increases the volatility and the evaporative rate of that blended product,” said Brandon Kern, senior director of state and national policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “When E10 was first rolled out, the EPA created some flexibility through the Clean Air Act in the form of wavers to allow for that volatility, but that was not extended into the E15 blends.”
So far, governors in eight Midwestern states have taken the action of notifying the EPA that they wish to switch to this fuel, exempting them from the regulation and, in turn, helping consumers at the pump and increasing demand for corn.
“The governor’s request to EPA puts E10 and E15 on equal footing in Ohio as well, so the volatility rate is the same for both blends,” Kern said. “For the petroleum industry, we think there is certainly an economic incentive to continue to offer E15 as it will be more competitive against E10 and other options at the pump once these restrictions are lifted.”
The relief to be able to offer E15 through this summer has been granted by the federal government, but the actions from DeWine will ensure that higher ethanol blended fuels will be offered year-round beyond 2022.