Biofuel groups urge Walz to continue push for year-round E15 fix

By Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association | October 19, 2022

The Minnesota Bio-Fuels Association (MN Bio-Fuels), along with other biofuel and agriculture stakeholders in the state, sent a letter to Gov. Tim Walz on Oct. 17 asking him to remain committed to a regulatory solution that will ensure the year-round availability of E15.

In April this year, eight Midwest governors, including Walz, asked the U.S. EPA to begin a rulemaking process to remove unnecessary and outdated regulations that prevent the sale of E15 during the summer driving season. 

The governors are asking the EPA to remove the 1-PSI Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver for E10 blends. This action would eliminate the current disparity between E10 and E15 and place both fuels on equal regulatory footing in the summer months. 

“We thank Gov. Walz for collaborating with other Midwest governors to find a regulatory solution that will allow E15 to be sold year-round in Minnesota. As oil industry pressure to retreat from putting E15 on equal regulatory footing increases, we ask him to remain committed to this commonsense solution so that Minnesotans may fully realize the economic and environmental benefits of E15,” said Brian Werner, executive director of MN Bio-Fuels.

Besides MN Bio-Fuels, the other signatories on the letter were the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, the Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU), POET LLC and Green Plains Inc. 

“The Minnesota Corn Growers Association is extremely appreciative of Governor Walz’s continued efforts to ensure year-round consumer access to E15. We thank Governor Walz for working with a bipartisan group of Midwestern governors to exercise their authority under the Clean Air Act to ensure E15 can be sold year-round. Minnesota leads the nation in the number of fuel retailers offering higher ethanol blends to consumers and this action will help to ensure uninterrupted market access beginning June 1, 2023,” said Richard Syverson, president of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association.

According to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, E15 sales in Minnesota from June to August this year was 27.25 million gallons, 12 percent higher than the volume sold in the preceding three months. 

“Minnesota Farmers Union leaders were instrumental in building the state’s biofuels industry and Gov. Tim Walz has been a reliable champion. Biofuels are a win-win-win, providing markets for family farmers while providing jobs in rural areas and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gary Wertish, president of MFU. “We thank Gov. Walz for his continued support of year-round E15 and lower cost fuel at the pump.”

Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President, Dan Glessing, said the organization appreciates Gov. Walz’ bipartisan efforts to ensure access to E15.

“Higher ethanol blends provide consumers with cleaner, more affordable fuels, farmers with new markets for their crops, and jobs across the state,” he said. 

Read the full letter here.