On March 12, the EPA announced it was proposing to issue a 1-psi RVP waiver for E15, thus enabling it to be sold during the summer months. Included were proposals to reform the Renewable Identification Number (RIN) market.
"I applaud the EPA's release of this proposed rule. It is long overdue and the result of much hard work on the part of US farmers, the ethanol industry and the Congressional Biofuel Caucus. The efforts to bring transparency to the RIN system are needed, but I'm afraid that connecting these two issues in one rule is going to bog down moving forward on both. This would affect the E15 timeline and I would want to make sure it's done by summer driving season," Peterson said.
Nonetheless, he said EPA's proposal does not lessen the damage caused by the EPA's issuance of small refinery waivers which has led to ethanol demand destruction.
"I encourage the Administration to consider all options to advance the viability of our domestic biofuels industry, including a more efficient pathway process at EPA and ensuring access for biofuels in export markets," Peterson added.
Craig described the EPA's proposal as a critical step towards the year-round sales of E15.
"During this difficult farm economy and damaging trade disputes, this comes as welcome news to Minnesota's farmers. I have long supported the year-round sales of E15 to provide additional certainty to producers while expanding the options at the pump for Minnesota communities. I encourage farmers to share their thoughts with the EPA throughout the comment period, which closes in April," she said.
Last week, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who also welcomed the EPA's proposal, said she would work to ensure the RIN reform package in the proposal does not delay the implementation of RVP relief for E15.
"If it is determined that these provisions will delay or restrict E15 from getting to the market, I will work with my colleagues to ensure that those policies don't harm consumers," she said.