White House considers E15 as a way to reduce fuel prices

Source: By Erin Voegele, Ethanol Producer Magazine • Posted: Thursday, March 17, 2022

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on March 15 confirmed that a move to year-round sales of E15 is “in the menu of options” the Biden administration is evaluating to bring down fuel prices as the summer driving season approaches.

During her March 15 press briefing, Psaki was specifically asked if the White House is considering lifting the current ban on summertime sales of higher blends of ethanol in order to help alleviate high gasoline prices. She confirmed that solution is “in the menu of options” under consideration by the Biden administration, but offered no additional details.

In recent weeks, several trade organizations and federal lawmakers have been advocating for the expanded use of E15 as a way to reduce fuel prices and increase domestic energy security.

Iowa’s congressional delegation sent a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan on March 8 advocating for the increased use of biofuels. In the letter, the lawmakers urge the Biden administration to expand the production and potential export of ethanol and biodiesel to meet global energy needs as the U.S. and its allies look to decrease reliance on Russian oil.

The following day, a bipartisan group of 16 senators, led by Sens. John Tune, R-S.D., and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., sent a letter to President Biden urging him to help curb rising domestic energy costs by enabling year-round sales of E15.

Several trade organizations are also pointing to E15 as part of the solution to current high fuel prices. In a March 4 letter to the White House, the American Farm Bureau Federation, Growth Energy, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, National Sorghum Producers, and the Renewable Fuels Association explained that an immediate move to restore year-round sales of E15 can ease the impact of oil market disruptions and surging gas prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

NACS and SIGMA also recently sent a letter to the EPA asking the agency to authorize the year-round sales of E15 to reduce U.S. reliance on foreign energy sources and help reduce retail fuel prices.

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