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EPA to allow E15 sales over the summer

Michael Leland
IPR file
The EPA is allowing gasoline with 15% ethanol to be sold in the summer months.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is allowing gasoline with 15% ethanol to be sold at the pump this summer, the agency announced Friday.

The agency said E15 is about 25 cents per gallon cheaper than gasoline with 10% ethanol (E10). The emergency waiver, the agency said, will give Americans financial relief and help market supply issues generated by Russia's war in Ukraine.

“The waiver will help protect Americans from fuel supply crises by reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels, building U.S. energy independence, and supporting American agriculture and manufacturing,” the EPA said in a statement.

E15 sales are often restricted in the summer because of air pollution concerns.

Iowa officials and agricultural groups praised the EPA’s action. Iowa is the top ethanol-producing state in the country as well as the top producer of corn. Much of Iowa’s corn is used to make ethanol.

“E15 sales in Iowa and around that country have greatly increased as consumers become more familiar with its cost-savings and performance,” said Monte Shaw, the executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “In Iowa we are clearly on the path where E15 will be the ‘new normal’ in a few years.”

In a statement, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she is “thrilled.”

“This is a huge win for Iowa farmers and our ethanol industry and proves that even our biggest adversaries can’t ignore the advantage biofuels brings to our country’s economy and national security,” Reynolds, a Republican, said. "Now all Americans will have access to cheaper, cleaner-burning fuel this summer!”

Reynolds was one of eight Midwest governors who wrote to EPA Administrator Michael Regan last year requesting that E15 be sold year-round. The EPA has proposed year-round E15 starting in 2024.

Katie Peikes is IPR's agriculture reporter