Brown signs bill approving E15 in Oregon

By Erin Voegele | June 23, 2021

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on June 23 signed a bill that clarifies the ability of retailers to sell E15. According to Growth Energy, Oregon has become the 48th state to approve sales of the fuel blend.

The Oregon House of Representatives passed the legislation, HB 3051, by a vote of 33 to 25 on June 7. The Oregon Senate passed the bill by a vote of 17 to 13 on June 10.

According to documents published by the Oregon legislature, Oregon law previously required that gasoline sold for use in motor vehicles contain 10 percent ethanol, or in the cast of anhydrous ethanol, contain in in concentrations of no less than 9.2 percent and no more than 10 percent. The bill signed by Brown on June 23 sets 10 percent as the blend floor, allowing for the sale of fuel with concentrations of ethanol above 10 percent.

Growth Energy has spoken in support of HB 3051. “We applaud the state of Oregon and Gov. Brown on clarifying that E15 is approved for sale and giving drivers across the state access to a more affordable, better for the environment option at the pump,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “Oregon’s approval of E15 comes just weeks after recent news from neighboring Nevada, who enacted legislation to approve E15. We look forward to working with West Coast retailers to offer drivers an engine smart, earth kind fuel.”

The Renewable Fuels Association thanked Brown for signing the bill. “We are pleased to see Oregon now allow E15 fuel and are grateful to Gov. Brown for her support so Oregon’s drivers will soon be able to choose lower-carbon, lower-cost E15 blends at the pump,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA. “Now, we have only two more states that need to take the same action—California and Montana—as well as some key counties in Arizona. We will continue to provide technical, regulatory, and legislative assistance as needed so their drivers, too, can drive on E15. We also continue our work in more than a dozen other states to ensure their rules and regulations are clearer and more explicit regarding the approved use of E15.” 

Poet LLC also applauded Oregon’s new law. “Oregon’s diverse geography and unique landscape help make protecting the environment a clear priority for state policymakers,” said Joshua Shields, senior vice president at Poet. “Plant-based renewable ethanol is 46 percent cleaner than traditional gasoline. This new law creates the pathway for higher blends of ethanol—helping Oregon take meaningful steps to improve air quality and curb the effects of climate change by sustainably decarbonizing the light duty vehicles on Oregon’s road today,”

According to Poet, a study by Air Improvement Resource Inc. showed that Oregon could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 190,000 metric tons annually – the equivalent of removing more than 41,000 vehicles from its roads – by increasing the use of higher blends by switching from E10 gasoline to E15.

“Ethanol is also less expensive than gasoline, with E15 typically saving consumers three to 10 cents per gallon,” Shields added. “By increasing the use of ethanol across the state, this law will also provide significant fuel savings for Oregon drivers.”