The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today gave the final approval to move forward with the sale of E15 ethanol blends.
The final issue preventing E15 from moving forward focused on residual fuel left in the hose of single hose pumps that would offer E15 and other fuels. Most importantly, this announcement knocks down the lone regulatory hurdle standing in the way of getting E15 into the marketplace for passenger vehicles 2001 and newer. With guidance on that issue from the EPA, fuel providers and retailers wishing to sell E15 can do so provided they register with EPA and follow approved misfueling mitigation protocols.
The Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy issued a statement in response to the announcement, calling it a "victory for American consumers."
"Since filing the Green Jobs waiver three years ago, the ethanol industry has worked extensively with the EPA to meet the conditions they placed on the approval of the waiver last year. At each step along the way, the industry has done its part to meet these conditions to get E15 into the marketplace.
"The ethanol industry is grateful for the support from the White House and the numerous agencies involved in bringing this fuel to the marketplace. Clearly this administration understands that ethanol plays a significant role in reducing our dependence on foreign oil.
"Now, America is changing the way it fuels up. Higher level ethanol blends, like E15, offer consumers greater choice at the pump while further reducing our dependence on imported oil. From more than three decades, ethanol has been proven a safe and effective fuel component, reducing tailpipe emissions and improving the quality of our air, while simultaneously providing the much-needed octane to help boost engine performance.
"Ethanol is reducing our addition to foreign oil, lowering the price of gasoline, and creating domestic jobs that cannot be outsourced. Offering E15 is a win-win for American consumers seeking the real options of a cost-effective fuel, which leads to a cleaner environment and increased energy security in America."
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack echoed the ethanol groups statements, saying the measure gets American consumers a step closer to having real choice at the pump.
"The public has a right to choose between imported oil and home-grown energy and today's action by the EPA advances that goal," Vilsack said. "Home grown biofuels are providing sustainable rural jobs that cannot be exported. Today's action proves yet again that renewable biofuels are not a dream of the future, but are a reality, and are making a difference today."