Last year, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association and Ohio Ethanol Producers Association sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine asking him to notify 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 Currently, E15, or sometimes called Unleaded 88, cannot be sold year-round due to outdated restrictions on vapor pressure at the pump.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, along with several other Midwest governors, made that request in a letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan in 2022.
Just this week, U.S. EPA did propose a rule that would allow sales of gasoline with a higher ethanol blend in certain Midwest states, but noted that the rule would take effect in summer 2024, a year later than the governors had requested.
“This delay by the EPA would mean even fewer choices at the pump for Ohio consumers and takes one of the lowest cost options for fuel out of the equation this summer,” said Brandon Kern, senior director of state and national policy with Ohio Farm Bureau. “Offering E15 throughout the year has given substantial relief to Ohioans’ budgets when they have needed it most. We encourage EPA to reconsider their proposal, and we appreciate Governor DeWine’s efforts to offer E15 year-round to help consumers at the pump and increase demand for corn grown by farmers across Ohio.”
During fuel supply disruptions last year, the EPA was told by President Joe Biden to use existing agency authority to prevent a disruption in E15 availability between June 1 and Sept. 15. That move increased the nation’s fuel supply and put an average of 16 cents per gallon back in the pockets of Americans.
A bipartisan group of senators, including Ohio’s Sherrod Brown, are asking the president to take that same action again this year.
“If the administration is committed to providing access to year-round E15 in the long term, they shouldn’t let EPA rulemaking delays prevent it from being offered this summer,” Kern said.