Ethanol Industry Pushing for E15 Waiver Decision This Month

Time is running out for the Biden EPA to decide on a summertime waiver for E15 sales this summer until a more permanent rule allowing those sales takes effect next year. The Renewable Fuels Association estimates E15 sales soared by over one billion gallons last year, an eight percent boost from 2022, largely due to EPA summertime waivers.

But RFA Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Troy Bredenkamp says the Environmental Protection Agency must decide soon on a waiver for this summer, ahead of a more lasting change next year. He says, “Many of the decisions at a terminal space need to be made by May 1st. So, April is when they need to be hearing from the administration what the outcome is going to be for this summer.”

Bredenkamp says last year’s emergency waiver decision was announced on April 28th, prompting his hope of action the last week of this month.

Meantime, the ethanol industry is waiting for the administration to decide final greenhouse gas modeling known as GREET that will determine must-have tax breaks for sustainable aviation fuel or ‘SAF,’ a huge potential new market.

Bredenkamp says, “This is a critical decision for this administration, when they want their grand challenge of 3 (B) billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel by 2030 to happen, it really cannot happen without row crop-based biofuel. And so, it’s a critical decision for them to get right. We’re hopeful that it will be done right. And if it takes a little extra time, we’re ok with that.”

The ethanol industry was hoping for a final decision last month on GREET modeling for SAF that will determine the tax breaks needed to make the fuel affordable for the airlines. SAF is seen as a potential 36-billion-gallon new market for ethanol by 2050, more than twice the current ethanol fuel use.

Story courtesy of NAFB News Service and Matt Kaye/Berns Bureau Washington

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