Iowa leaders critical of delayed EPA move to expand e-15 sales

E15 fuel
E15 fuel
Published: Mar. 1, 2023 at 3:07 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa politicians praised a move by the Environmental Protection Agency to allow year-round sales of E-15 blended ethanol gasoline but also criticized a delay in the move and implementation.

Several Midwestern states, including Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, had pushed for the change and stand to benefit economically from the increased need for corn-based ethanol. The states argued it is not only a boost to farmers but also a way to lower gas prices and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

The EPA had essentially banned the use of E15, named because the fuel contains 15% ethanol, during summer months due to concerns about increased emissions during summer months. The rule change lifts that ban but not in time for this upcoming summer and only for the states that requested it.

Iowa political leaders were quick to praise the move while also criticizing the slow response and delayed implementation.

“The arbitrary delay in implementation this summer is unacceptable and disappointing, but hardly surprising,” said Governor Kim Reynolds, who will speak to the National Ethanol Conference in Florida Thursday. “Iowa won’t accept it without a fight. I look forward to requesting another emergency waiver for this year while at the same time asking the courts to require the Administration to grant our request immediately. Iowans, and all Americans, deserve immediate access to lower-cost, American made E15.”

Iowa Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley, both Republicans, criticized the delay in the decision until 2024 and called on President Biden to issue immediate waivers for this summer.

President Biden did grant an emergency waiver last summer to allow E15 sales in an attempt to lower rising gas prices.