Both Parties Agree: E15 Hurts Consumers
Posted October 5, 2018
It may seem like there isn’t much “across-the-aisle” agreement in Washington these days, but amid reports the administration wants to facilitate year-round sales of E15 gasoline, a group of 20 Democratic and Republican senators has written to President Trump, criticizing the E15 proposal while urging him to protect consumers and join a meaningful discussion of addressing the broken Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
The rumored regulation, which would expand the sale of E15 by waiving certain Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements related to Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP), is a one-sided approach to addressing RFS-related concerns, the senators wrote, which favors only one industry stakeholder.
Moreover, the proposal would do nothing to address underlying problems with the RFS that impact refinery jobs and could hurt millions of consumers whose vehicles and equipment aren’t designed to use E15, which contains 50 percent more ethanol than E10 fuel that’s standard across the country. The senators wrote:
[A] decision to grant such a waiver goes against the (EPA’s) long standing interpretation as well as a plain reading of the CAA. We urge you to engage in a collaborative and transparent process with robust engagement on any RFS reform efforts.
The letter is signed by Democrats Ben Cardin (Maryland), Robert Menendez (New Jersey) Tom Udall (New Mexico) and Joe Manchin (West Virginia). Also Republicans James Inhofe and James Lankford of Oklahoma, Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi, John Barrasso and Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy of Louisiana, John Cornyn (Texas), Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), Susan Collins (Maine), Johnny Isakson (Georgia), John Boozman (Arkansas) and Steve Daines (Montana).
The lawmakers agree that the RFS needs fixing. We’ve said it many times before, but it’s important to remember that RFS ethanol mandates that force more higher ethanol fuel into the nation’s fuel supply could harm consumers.
(E15 Chart Sources: http://www.edmunds.com/ownership/howto/articles/120189/article.html and auto company contacts. 1 Accord, Civic, Crosstour, CR-V, CR-Z, Insight, Odyssey, Pilot; Acura: ILX, MDX, RDX, RLX, but not TL, TSX, TSX Wagon. 2 Some owner manuals for 2014 and 2015 incorrectly stated that E15 was allowed. 3 Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Highlander, iQ, Prius, RAV-4, Scion tC, Sienna, Venza; Lexus: CT200H, ES350, GS300/350, GS450H, IS250, IS350, LS460, RX350, RX450H, but not 4Runner, FJ Cruiser, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Tacoma, Tundra, Yaris; Lexus: IS250C, IS350C, IS F, GX460, LX570. 4 Not Chevrolet City Express. 5 Not FR-S, xB (model discontinued after 2015). 6 Not Dodge Viper. 7 Not Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Optima. 8 Not Hyundai Sonata, Kia Forte, Kia Niro.)
As the senators write, the E15 waiver is explicitly disallowed under the CAA, and EPA has agreed numerous times that the agency doesn’t have the authority to extend the RVP waiver to E15.
Again, the RFS is broken. The latest E15 proposal is a distraction from the real work that needs to be done to address the underlying program’s significant flaws – problems serious enough to forge a bipartisan response from Congress.
About The Author
Jessica Lutz is a writer for the American Petroleum Institute. Jessica joined API after 10+ years leading the in-house marketing and communications for non-profits and trade associations. A Michigan native, Jessica graduated from The University of Michigan with degrees in Communications and Political Science. She resides in Washington, D.C., and spends most of her free time trying to keep up with her energetic Giant Schnauzer, Jackson.
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