US Sens. Enzi and Barrasso oppose year-round E15 at the pump

WYOMING – US Senators Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., joined a bipartisan group of 20 senators in urging the president to reject the year-round sale of 15 percent ethanol by volume (E15).

“In recent months, media outlets reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering regulatory action to expand the sale of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol by volume (E15) year-round by waiving certain Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements related to Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP),” the senators wrote. “However, a one-sided approach to addressing concerns related to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that favors only one industry stakeholder is misguided. We are concerned that doing so would do nothing to address the policies impacting refinery jobs, could hurt millions of consumers whose vehicles and equipment are not compatible with higher ethanol blended gasoline, and risk worsening air quality.”

With some exceptions, federal law does not allow for the sale of E15 in summer months. EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has already said his agency will make year-round sales of E15 a targeted goal. President Trump has also expressed a commitment to backing the higher Ethanol blend even at the expense of disenfranchising petroleum refiners.

Additional opponents of E15 include automakers, the oil industry, and AAA. The EPA recommends E15 be used only in flexible-fuel vehicles built in 2001 or later. Critics contend the higher ethanol blend can lead to damaged fuel lines and engines in all vehicles built before 2012.

The letter was led by US Senator Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., and was also signed by US Senators Ben Cardin, D-Md., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Susan Collins, R-Maine, Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., Roger Wicker, R-Miss., John Boozman, R-Ark., Pat Toomey, R-Penn., Bill Cassidy, R-La., James Lankford, R-Okla., Steve Daines, R-Mont., John Kennedy, R-La., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss.

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