Gov. Ricketts, Ethanol Board Comment on Proposed E15 Rule
Taylor Gage, 402-471-1970
Eric Maher, 402-471-1974
Gov. Ricketts pumps ethanol during a Renewable Fuels Month event.
LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts, the Nebraska Ethanol Board, and the Nebraska Corn Board commented on a proposed rule from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would provide Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) relief, allowing for the year-round sale of E15 throughout the United States. This follows direction to the EPA from President Donald J. Trump on October 9, 2018 to begin the rulemaking process.
“Thank you to President Trump and Administrator Wheeler for moving us closer to year-round E15,” said Governor Ricketts. “As the second largest ethanol-producing state in the nation, we are excited because the change will help add even more value to the billions of bushels of quality grains Nebraska’s family farmers produce every year. We look forward to participating in the comment period and helping ensure all retailers offering E15 are included.”
Due to an antiquated regulation from 1990, the federal government holds E15, a blend of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, to tougher standards than other fuels during the summer. Between June 1st and September 15th, federal rules limit E15 for use in flex fuel vehicles only due to RVP requirements.
“We are thankful the Trump Administration continues to move forward with the promise of year-round E15,” said Sarah Caswell, Nebraska Ethanol Board Administrator. “I am hopeful that, despite the tight timeline, the proposal will be finalized in time for the 2019 summer driving season and will enable all retailers equipped to offer E15 the ability to sell that fuel for use in light-duty vehicles 2001 and newer. We look forward to working with industry stakeholders and all our ethanol champions in government to make year-round E15 a reality.”
“We should see an increase in fuel retailers across the state and nation offering E15 when the red tape and regulatory barriers are removed,” said Randy Gard, Nebraska Ethanol Board petroleum representative and chief operations officer for Bosselman Enterprises. “The waiver takes the perceived risk out of the market for fuel retailers, which will stimulate ethanol markets. E15 gives consumers another renewable, low-cost option at the pump.”
“E15 is the most widely tested fuel ever,” said David Bruntz, chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board and farmer from Friend. “Not only do higher blends of ethanol benefit motorists through cost savings, cleaner air and increased vehicle performance, but they also help rural America. E15 is a win for consumers, a win for farmers, and a win for Nebraska’s economy.”
The EPA’s proposed rule is open for public comment until April 29, 2019. Nebraskans are encouraged to submit comments online at www.regulations.gov.
ABOUT THE NEBRASKA ETHANOL BOARD
The Nebraska Ethanol Board works to ensure strong public policy and consumer support for biofuels. Since 1971, the independent state agency has designed and managed programs to expand production, market access, worker safety, and technology innovation, including recruitment of producers interested in developing conventional ethanol, as well as bio-products from the ethanol platform. For more information, visit www.ethanol.nebraska.gov.