EPA Announces Continued E15 Access for Consumers in Summer 2023

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it will use existing authority to prevent drivers from losing access to lower-cost and lower-emission E15, a higher ethanol blend often marketed as Unleaded 88. The National Corn Growers Association and Kansas Corn Grower Association, which have advocated for the move, praised the decision.

“This emergency waiver is important to not only the more than 100 stations in Kansas that have made the investment to offer E15 but also Kansas consumers who will keep access to a lower-cost, higher- quality fuel during peak driving months,” says Josh Roe, Kansas Corn vice-president of market development and policy. “We appreciate Administer Regan’s timely action to prevent disruption in E15 availability and hope that Congress can pass the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act to secure uninterrupted year-round E15 access for future years. All six Kansas senators and representatives have signed on in support of the act.”

EPA approved 15 percent ethanol blends, or E15, in 2011 for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles, which account for more than 96 percent of vehicles on the road today. Retailers have increased availability of E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88, to offer consumers choice and lower fuel costs, as well as increase the fuel supply. E15 has been sold year-round for the past four years, but outdated regulatory barriers continue to hinder permanent full-market access to E15.

Continued access to E15 during the summer months will help relieve ongoing fuel supply pressures. When EPA took similar action last year, drivers saved nearly a dollar per gallon in some locations and an average of 23 cents per gallon during the summer months, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Commerce. E15 continues to save consumers significantly at the pump today.

Moreover, allowing uninterrupted E15 sales keeps a lower-emission fuel in the marketplace. In addition to being lower in carbon emissions, E15 has lower volatility than regular fuel, which is a 10% ethanol blend, and using E15 results in lower evaporative and exhaust emissions, important during the summer driving season.