UPDATE: Senate Amendment to Be Filed Extending Volatility Waiver to E15

Source: By Rachel Gantz, OPIS • Posted: Friday, January 29, 2016

Two senators plan to file an amendment today to a wide-ranging energy bill that would expand the volatility waiver to E15, OPIS has confirmed.

“Sens. [Chuck] Grassley [R-Iowa) and [Joe] Donnelly (D-Ind.) are going to be dropping an amendment … that’s the same as the RVP [Reid Vapor Pressure] bill introduced on May 7, 2015,” a Grassley spokesperson confirmed Wednesday afternoon.

E15 blends do not receive the same 1 psi RVP volatility waiver that is granted to E10. Under current regulations, summertime volatility restrictions are in place from June 1-Sept. 15. S. 1239, introduced by Donnelly in May, would amend Section 211(h)(4) of the Clean Air Act by inserting “or more” after “10%” and strike “additional alcohol” in subparagraph (C).

It’s not clear whether the filed amendment would receive a vote. As OPIS reported on Wednesday, an amendment by Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) has already been filed that would immediately repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2).

Additionally, an amendment (SA 3016) filed Wednesday by Sens. Pat Toomey (R- Pa.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) would eliminate the conventional ethanol portion of the RFS. That mirrors standalone legislation the lawmakers introduced in February 2015. Toomey tried unsuccessfully to attach a similar amendment to a crude exports bill in October 2015.

Debate began yesterday on the energy bill, with first votes on other filed amendments coming this afternoon.

The energy bill from Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) does not include any biofuel-related measures — since that’s the jurisdiction of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — but does include a number of provisions, including accelerating natural gas exports. The committee passed the bill in July 2015.