Senate Bill Introduced to Extend Volatility Waiver to E15

Source: By Rachel Gantz, OPIS • Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2015

Three Midwestern senators introduced legislation Friday that would expand the volatility waiver to E15.

Specifically, E15 blends do not receive the same 1 psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver that is granted to E10. Under current regulations, summertime volatility restrictions are in place from June 1-Sept. 15.

According to the one-page bill, S. 1239, it would amend Section 211(h)(4) of the Clean Air Act by inserting “or more” after “10%” and strike “additional alcohol”
in subparagraph (C).

The bill was introduced by Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.). Grassley and fellow Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a similar bill in March, and a House companion bill was introduced in late April.

“This legislation would expand the RVP waiver for ethanol blends, increasing the market for ethanol producers in Indiana and around the country and making more clean fuels available to consumers year-round,” said Donnelly. “I am proud my colleagues Senator Grassley and Senator Fischer are joining me in this bipartisan effort to reduce the burden of regulations on ethanol producers and consumers,” he added.

“Consumers appreciate having choices, whether it’s at the grocery store or the fuel pump,” said Grassley. “Those of us who live in biofuels-producing states understand the appeal of cleaner, domestic, renewable fuels. The EPA should be consistent in the way it treats different fuel blends as a matter of fairness and to give consumers more options for fueling their vehicles,” he added.

Ethanol trade groups also praised the bill. “We applaud this strong bipartisan effort to remove the largest regulatory hurdle standing between consumers and access to a cleaner, less expensive and higher performing fuel,” said Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis.

“As June 1st rapidly approaches, the need for RVP parity between E10 and E15 becomes more critical,” said Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen.

“I applaud Senators Donnelly, Grassley and Fischer for calling attention to a critical issue that is currently hindering stations from selling E15 in the summertime and serves as a disincentive for retailers to carry the higher-level blend year round. Hopefully, their leadership will motivate EPA to take the action they have authority to take and provide equal treatment for these ethanol blends so that the consumer will have options at the pump,” he added.