Ohio governor asks EPA for permanent solution to summer E15 sales

By Erin Voegele | June 10, 2022

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on June 10 sent a letter to U.S. EPA Administrator Andrew Regan asking that the agency remove restrictions on E15 sales by permanently extending the waiver issued by agency in April allowing E15 sales to continue through the 2022 summer driving season.

"E15 offers Ohio consumers cleaner emissions, more fuel from renewable sources, and, perhaps most critically, a less expensive fuel option,” DeWine said. "By permanently removing unneeded summertime E15 regulations, we can encourage more Ohio gas stations to offer E15 and give Ohioans an option that provides real gas price relief.”

In the letter, DeWine thanks Regan for issuing the E15 emergency waiver, but stresses the need for a permanent solution. “Please consider this letter to the EPA, pursuant to Section 211(h)(5) of the Clean Air Act, that the RVP limitation established by Section 211(h)(4) increases emissions that contribute to air pollution in our state," DeWine wrote. “Therefore, I respectfully request that EPA promulgate a regulation applying, in lieu of the RVP limitation established by Section 211(h)(4), the RVP limitation established by Section 211(h)(1) to all fuel blends containing gasoline and 10 precent ethanol that are sold, offered for sale, dispensed, supplied, offered for supply, transported, or introduced into commerce in Ohio beginning with the 2023 summer ozone control season.”

The Renewable Fuels Association thanked DeWine for taking action on E15 and explained that DeWine is exercising the authority granted to state governors under the Clean Air Act, and his action will result in equality in the regulation of E15 and E10 volatility during the summer months. This would allow retailers and marketers in Ohio to sell E15 unincumbered year-round in 2023 and beyond, and his action follows a similar move in late April by a bipartisan group of eight governors from Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, according to RFA.

“We thank Gov. DeWine for joining many of his Midwest peers in securing a permanent solution for opening the market to E15 and keeping fuel prices lower for the state’s consumers,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA. “Gov. DeWine should be applauded for pursuing a simple regulatory solution that will allow consumers in Ohio to benefit from E15’s lower cost and lower emissions throughout the year. We continue to call on other states and the EPA to take similar action, so that the benefits of E15 can be permanently enjoyed by drivers across the nation.”

The American Coalition for Ethanol has also spoken out to applaud DeWine’s actions. “As pump prices continue climbing and setting record highs, it is becoming more evident to governors around the country that year-round availability of E15 is a common-sense step that can be taken to help provide motorists some relief,” said Brian Jennings, CEO of ACE. “We are grateful Ohio Governor DeWine has joined several of his colleagues to formally petition EPA to allow his state to sell E15 year-round on a permanent basis.” 

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded from DeWine’s website.