Midwest Attorneys General Urge EPA to Respond to E15 Petition

  • Wednesday, 01 February 2023 09:07

Ethanol Producer Magazine

Jan 30, 2023

The attorneys general of Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin are urging the Biden administration to take action on petition filed by a bipartisan coalition of governors in April 2022 seeking a permanent solution to year-round E15 sales within their states.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts; Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly; Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum; South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers April 28, 2022, sent a letter  to U.S. Administrator Michael Regan seeking a solution to year-round E15 sales under a provision of the Clean Air Act that allows the governor of any state to request that the 1-psi volatility waiver contained in the statute for gasoline-ethanol blends be removed in the state.

Under federal law, the EPA is required to respond to such a request within 90 days. The agency, however, has not yet responded to the April 2022 request. In a letter to Regan and Shalanda Young, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, the attorneys general urge the administration “to comply with the law and issue the mandated regulations so that E15 will be available this summer.”

A rulemaking process related to the governors’ request is in progress. The EPA on Dec. 5, 2022, delivered a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to the OMB  related to the petition. OMB review marks a final step before a proposed rulemaking is released for public comment. The OMB also addressed the petition in its 2022 Fall Unified Agenda and Regulatory Plan, which was released on Jan. 4. That unified agenda  indicates the EPA is targeting March 2023 for completion of the E15 rulemaking.

The Renewable Fuels Association is also calling on the EPA to respond to the governors’ petition. “It’s been nine months since a group of eight Midwest governors petitioned the Biden administration to ensure lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 would be available year-round in their states,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA. “By law, the governors’ petition should have been approved by the administration 90 days after it was received, but that never happened. Now, with the 2023 summer driving season just around the corner, these states are tired of waiting.  It’s past time for the White House and EPA to follow through on the governors’ petition, and we applaud these attorneys general for their efforts to break the logjam.”

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