Time may be running out for EPA to decide on an emergency waiver to allow summertime sales of E15 gas like it did last year amid the war in Ukraine, and a possible answer to OPEC oil cuts this year.
EPA is under mounting pressure from the ethanol industry to green light E15 sales this summer after OPEC announced it would cut oil output more than one million barrels per day.
But EPA chief Michael Regan told lawmakers recently; “For 2023, what we’ll have to do is do what we did last year, which is assess it case by case, as we get closer to that time.”
But time is running out. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley; “April the 10th was the date last year when the president came to Iowa and said that the high price of gasoline is the reason to have E15 year-round. If it was adequate time last year for suppliers to adjust to it, it’s soon enough this year.”
But Grassley claims EPA’s using the clock as an excuse, and lacks confidence the agency will again approve a summertime waiver.
Grassley; “I’m not confident at all, because EPA tends to work closely with ‘big oil’ and whether it’s Republican or Democrat administrations, and they don’t want to give any certainty to the ethanol industry.”
But that could still change as OPEC cuts output and reduced U.S. oil and gasoline inventories pressure fuel prices while the summer driving season approaches.