MENLO, IOWA, US — The administration of US President Joe Biden is being lauded by ethanol supporters for the April 12 announcement that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would issue an emergency waiver allowing the sale of E15 this summer, an effort to combat high gasoline prices.

Most gasoline in the United States is sold with a 10% ethanol blend, but the EPA’s emergency waiver will allow the 15% blend from June 1 to Sept. 15, which usually is prohibited due to concerns it adds to smog in high temperatures. The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) has been an advocate for year-round E15 use. 

“President Biden’s announcement is great news for the ethanol industry, farmers, and most importantly, American consumers, who are under financial stress from rising energy prices and expenses,” said Brian Jennings, chief executive officer of ACE. “E15 is saving families between 10 and 30 cents per gallon, so this is a meaningful step toward reducing gas prices. We appreciate the president making it clear the farmers and biofuel producers who produce American-made ethanol are part of the solution to address pain at the pump.

“Given the long-term importance to ensuring uninterrupted availability of E15 year-round in all parts of the country, we look forward to working with the administration and Congress on a permanent remedy to expand consumer access beyond the emergency measures being taken this summer.”

Kody Carson, chairman of the National Sorghum Producers, also applauded Biden’s E15 announcement at the POET Bioprocessing plant in Menlo, Iowa, US.

“The year-round sale of E15 is good for not only American sorghum farmers and ethanol producers but also the American consumer,” Carson said. “Sorghum made into climate-friendly ethanol gives consumers access to home-grown, cleaner fuel that will help lower the price at the pump for everyone, and eliminating unnecessary summertime restrictions on E15 clears a major hurdle in greater energy independence and security for our nation.”

ACE noted the waiver announcement also included updates on more biofuel infrastructure funding and distributions, as well as $700 million in biofuel aid to be awarded this month as producers continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been over two years since COVID-19 shut down the economy and caused a severe market disruption that rocked the ethanol industry, and we’re appreciative the administration is delivering on the assistance for biofuel producers,” Jennings said.