Johnson joins bipartisan contingent requesting emergency waiver for E15 fuel use

U.S. Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) joined 25 of his colleagues in urging President Joe Biden to quickly permit the nationwide summer sale of gasoline blended with up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) fuel by extending the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver from June 1 to Sept. 15.

“Home-grown, American biofuels are a straightforward, no-cost solution that strengthen our nation’s energy infrastructure, support our farmers, and reduce consumer costs,” wrote Rep. Johnson and the bipartisan contingent of lawmakers in an April 10 letter sent to Biden. “We request you expeditiously grant this emergency waiver for 2024.”

Previous waivers by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have demonstrated that permitting the summer sale of E15 bolsters the domestic fuel supply, lowers consumer costs, and provides reliable markets for the nation’s farmers, the members wrote.

“By granting an emergency waiver, the U.S. can counter foreign influence and pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy that leverages biofuels and saves Americans money at the pump,” wrote Rep. Johnson and his colleagues, who included U.S. Reps. Adrian Smith (R-NE), Sam Graves (R-MO), Mike Bost (R-IL), Don Bacon (R-NE), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), and Angie Craig (D-MN).

They pointed out that the EPA in February announced that eight Midwestern states would be permitted to allow the year-round sale of E15 beginning in 2025. However, the 2025 time frame creates uncertainty and a regulatory gap for this summer’s driving season, according to their letter.

“Temporary action is again required to continue the uninterrupted sale of E15 for what would be the sixth year in a row,” Rep. Johnson and the lawmakers wrote. “Extending the nationwide sale of E15 can again bolster our nation’s energy resilience by adding billions of gallons of ethanol to the nation’s fuel supply at a time when domestic inventories of crude oil and petroleum products are at their lowest point in almost 20 years.”

The current stockpiles, they added, are currently lower than those that contributed to an emergency fuel waiver for summer E15 in both 2022 and 2023. 

“This, combined with the new and ongoing geopolitical conflicts abroad, demonstrates the necessity for another emergency waiver,” wrote the members.

Growth Energy and the Renewable Fuels Association support the letter.