Responding to gasoline supply shortfalls and price spikes stemming from Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. EPA on Aug. 31 took emergency action to authorize the sale of E15 to all 2001 and newer vehicles, regardless of fuel volatility.
Due to a quirk in federal gasoline volatility regulations, E15 sales to non-flexible fuel vehicles (FFVs) are usually halted from June 1 to Sept. 15. EPA has suspended the restrictive volatility regulation from now through September 15, after which the normal regulations allow for the sale of E15 to non-FFVs.
“Iowans feeling the pinch of higher gasoline prices can save 5 to 10 cents per gallon by finding an E15 retailer near them,” says Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw. “Those with FFVs can really save money by choosing E85.”
E15 is usually 5 to 10 cents less per gallon
E15 is a fuel blend containing 15% ethanol, just 5% more ethanol than the most commonly used fuel in the U.S., which is the E10 blend. E15 is often sold at a 5- to 10-cent-per-gallon discount to E10, and is higher in octane which improves vehicle performance. E85 contains up to 85% ethanol and should only be used in flexible fuel vehicles.
“This isn’t the first time weather has severely impacted the Gulf Coast petroleum industry and caused economic pain to ripple across the country,” notes Shaw. “This is, however, the first time EPA has taken action to allow ethanol to help expand fuel supplies and provide extra relief for motorists. President Trump and the EPA deserve credit for taking this common sense step. The ethanol industry is ready, willing, and most importantly able to help.”
A list of fuel stations can be found here.
The IRFA represents the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry and works to foster its growth. Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production with 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually (including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity) and 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce over 380 million gallons annually. For more information, visit iowaRFA.org.