Midwest governors take action toward permanent year-round E15 sales

A bipartisan group of governors from eight midwestern states have notified the EPA of their intent to exercise state rights under the Clean Air Act to allow year-round sales of E15.

Renewable Fuels Association CEO Geoff Cooper tells Brownfield, “The bottom line is, the Clean Air Act gives governors the authority to establish that level playing field for these ethanol blends, so that we don’t have this situation where E15 can’t be sold in the summertime.”

He says there is a one-year waiting period before the change is effective, so it would be summer of 2023 before the states are allowed to permanently sell E15 year-round. But Cooper says that’s ok because a federal emergency waiver has already been announced for 2022.   

“The action that President Biden announced a few weeks ago is going to tie this over and get us through this summer, and then what these Governors announced today should take care of the issue for summer of 2023 and every summer after that.”

The governors, including Kim Reynolds of Iowa, Pete Ricketts of Nebraska, JB Pritzker of Illinois, Laura Kelly of Kansas, Tim Walz of Minnesota, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Tony Evers of Wisconsin sent the letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan on Thursday.

Cooper says the governors have been working together on this issue since the DC Circuit Court overturned the EPA last year, putting the summertime E15 barrier back up – and RFA is pleased with the bipartisan effort.

“You had four republicans and four democrats working together with the spirit of improving the economy and environment in their states. That was very encouraging to see and we were happy to support those efforts.”

Cooper says 70% of the nations ethanol and corn are produced in those eight states, so it makes sense for them to lead this effort, but he hopes some other states will choose to join the group moving forward.

Interview with Geoff Cooper

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