Clements: The Environmental Protection Agency must finalize a rule allowing summer E15 sales by the end of the month, to avoid regulations that prohibit sales during the summer driving season. The American Farm Bureau Federation submitted comments to the EPA last month as part of the rulemaking process. Andrew Walmsley, AFBF congressional relations director, says the EPA needs to act quickly.
Walmsley: We’re now waiting for the agency to make a decision that we hope comes soon, before June 1st, when summer driving season kicks off and some of these antiquated regulations that EPA is looking to remove don’t take effect.
Clements: Walmsley calls the proposed rule, which would waive the Reid vapor pressure requirement that currently halts summertime sales of E15, a win for farmers and consumers.
Walmsley: What EPA is proposing to do is to take that requirement off the books so we can have year-round E15 sales. That provides more choice for consumers in the marketplace and also helps drive demand for U.S.-grown biofuels and will hopefully help the farm economy where we continue to see struggles.
Clements: Walmsley says there is concern that other reforms made in the proposal will undermine the Renewable Fuel Standard, but he is hopeful those changes won’t slow down the E15 rule.
Walmsley: They’ve coupled this E15 year-round sales rule with some reforms to the RFS, specifically around the Renewable identification number market, or RINs. We don’t want to see anything that undermines the RFS. There is a little concern of coupling these two together, but we hope it doesn’t hold back the agency on getting the E15 rule finalized.
Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.