U.S. EPA lifts ban on summertime sales of U.S. EPA lifts ban on summertime sales of 15% ethanol-blended gasoline
Photo courtesy of National Renewable Energy Lab

AFPM asks U.S. Court of Appeals to review recent EPA rule on E15

The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM), a trade association representing the oil refining and petrochemical industry in the United States, has filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review a recent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule providing a 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver to gasoline containing 15% ethanol (E15).

AFPM has one month to provide the court with the outline of its case.

The U.S. EPA announced on 31 May 2019 that it was finalizing regulatory changes to E15 to adopt the 1-psi RVP waiver that currently applies to E10 during the summer months. This removed the key regulatory barrier to allowing E15 to be sold year-round, which U.S. President Donald Trump promised farmers last year.

The summertime E15 ban was implemented during the Obama administration to reduce smog emissions, but the EPA under the Trump administration claims that the impact of E15 on air quality was similar to that of E10, which is being sold in the U.S. year-round.

“We fully expect the court’s ruling to align with what the EPA and Congress have each previously concluded: the plain language of the Clean Air Act does not authorize an RVP waiver expansion beyond E10. Nothing has changed – a waiver for E15 is unlawful, plain and simple,” said Chet Thompson, president and CEO of AFPM.

Thompson also issued a statement on the need to reform the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).

“An E15 waiver is in no way a fix for the shortcomings of the RFS, which has for years plagued markets with volatility. Following his visit to Iowa, we invite the President to listen to refinery employees and constituents in Pennsylvania, Ohio and elsewhere to fully understand the economic harm the RFS is causing and the overwhelming need for its reform.”