Governors urge Trump to extend RVP waiver to E30

By Erin Voegele | October 11, 2019

Representatives of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition sent a letter to President Trump Oct. 8 urging him to use existing executive authority take four specific actions aimed and helping to restore and grow the U.S. agriculture and biofuel industries.

The letter, authored by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, chair of the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition, and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, vice chair of the coalition, references the proposed supplemental rule expected to be released by the U.S. EPA to address future small refinery exemptions (SREs). Walz and Noem call the supplemental rule “an important effort towards restoring confidence to producers and brining stability to the industry” but also request the administration “use existing executive authority to act immediately to help restore the nation’s agriculture and biofuels industries without Congress’s approval.”

The governors ask Trump to direct the EPA to enforce the Clean Air Act and reduce the aromatics in gasoline, which they say would open new market opportunities for ethanol to replace toxics and give refiners more options to meet octane demand with high octane ethanol. “Replacing hazardous aromatics in gasoline with biofuel will reduce carbon emissions and will provide incalculable health benefits, especially for those Americans living in urban areas,” they wrote.

Walz and Noem also urge Trump to direct EPA to extend the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to higher ethanol blends, including E30. “Efforts to revitalize rural growth must include a waiver for all ethanol blends above E15, including E30,” they wrote. “EPA’s regulations have unnecessarily limited the amount of ethanol used in the market, despite the economic and environmental benefits that come with increased ethanol consumption.”

Furthermore, the letter asks Trump to direct the EPA to update its lifecycle carbon findings. The governors note EPA’s estimate of lifecycle carbon emissions associated with ethanol have not been updated for a decade. The use of obsolete data, they said, distorts the public’s perception of the environmental benefits of biofuels.

Finally, Walz and Noem urge Trump to direct EPA to resume processing and approving registration applications for the production of cellulosic ethanol from corn kernel fiber under existing regulations. “Applications from companies seeking D3 RIN approval have been delayed in EPA’s regulatory process, resulting in millions of cellulosic biofuel gallons withheld from the marketplace because of regulatory delay,” they wrote.

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from the Governors’ Biofuels Coalition website