March 02, 2017
New Legislation Would Extend RVP Waiver, Boost Consumer Fuel Choices During Summer Driving Season
Author: Growth Energy
WASHINGTON, DC — Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor today released the following statement in support of the bipartisan, bicameral introduction of the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 517, H.R. 1311). This legislation – introduced in the Senate by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and in the House of Representatives by Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE-3) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA-2) – would extend the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to gasoline blended with 15 percent ethanol (E15), allowing retailers to offer E15 without restriction from June 1 to September 15.
“The introduction of the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act is the first step toward eradicating an unnecessary EPA restriction that limits consumer choice at the pump during the peak time of the year when Americans are on the road,” Skor said.
“E15 is a federally approved fuel that saves motorists money, boosts engine performance, and improves the environment. Biofuels like E15 are the most effective alternative to fossil fuels and a critical tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality. It is simply ridiculous that law passed in 1990 to spur ethanol fuel sales would prevent today’s drivers from having this choice of a high-performance, environmentally friendly 21st century fuel year-round.
“We commend the sponsors of this bill for their efforts to provide consumer choice at the pump and look forward to working with them to get this important legislation enacted.”
RVP is a measure of how quickly fuel evaporates, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates vapor pressure/RVP to prevent increased ozone or smog from vehicle emissions. Congress granted regular gasoline with 10 percent ethanol (E10) an RVP waiver because E10 reduces tailpipe emissions. EPA does not give E15 the same RVP waiver as E10, even though it is less volatile.
Consequently, retailers are largely prohibited from selling E15 for use in 2001 and newer vehicles from June 1 through September 15, despite its approved use by the EPA. The EPA fails to account for the fact that higher ethanol blends are less volatile, and fuel such as E15 further decrease emissions, replacing toxic additives in gasoline that have been proven to cause cancer, asthma, groundwater contamination and smog.
Currently E15 is being offered at approximately 650 locations in 28 states. Leading retailers offering E15 include: Sheetz, Thorntons, Murphy USA, RaceTrac, Minnoco, Protec, Family Express, and Kum & Go.
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