Midwest Governors Want RVP Ban On E15 To End

  • Tuesday, 13 September 2016 10:59

Seven governors from the Midwest, including Minnesota's Gov. Mark Dayton, have asked the EPA to end the reid vapor pressure (RVP) ban on E15.

In a letter to EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, the governors point out that the "inequitable RVP treatment of E10 and E15 has no scientific basis since E15 and higher blends are lower in volatility than E10 when blended with the same base gasoline."

The RVP bars the sale of E15 to non-flex fuel vehicles from June 1 to Sept 15.

Ethanol has a lower RVP than gasoline but the RVP in blends like E10 or E15 increase if the gasoline blend stock has a higher RVP and during the summer months, there is a lack of supply of gasoline with a low RVP. Nonetheless, E10 has been granted a waiver to be sold in the summer. E15, while indistinguishable from E10, has not been given a waiver. You can read more on the RVP ban here.

As a result of the ban, E15 sales dropped significantly in June and July (August sales numbers aren't out yet) in Minnesota. You can read more here

"EPA's disparate handling of E10 and E15 with regard to fuel volatility regulation is stifling the widespread adoption of E15 and mid-level ethanol blends," the governors wrote in the letter. Besides Dayton, the other governors who signed the letter include Gov. Terry Branstad (Iowa), Gov. Sam Brownback (Kansas), Jay Nixon (Missouri), Pete Rickets (Nebraska), Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota) and Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota).

In their letter, the governors urge the EPA to " take immediate action to establish a volatility regime that allows a uniform gasoline blendstock to be suitable for blending both E10 and E15 (and higher blends) year round."

"When EPA first proposed its dramatic belnding reductions to the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2013, the Agency specifically asked that stakeholders suggest 'what actions, on the part of government...could be taken to overcome these obstacles and to enable E15 consumption to increase.' Ensuring the same base gasoline may be blended to create E10 and E15 year round is one step that EPA can take immediately to stimulate a rapid increase in E15 consumption - driving ethanol use well beyond the so-called 'E10 blendwall' and giving more Americans the choice of a cleaner-burning, lower-cost, higher-octane, renewable fuel at the pump."

You can read the rest of the letter here