In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the Renewable Fuels Association asked the agency to “take immediate action to expand the scope and geographic coverage” of the fuel waiver issued by the agency Aug. 26 in response to Hurricane Harvey.
“While EPA’s August 26 waiver of certain reformulated gasoline (RFG) and Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirements was a welcome step, it is not delivering meaningful relief from escalating gasoline prices in Texas and across the rest of the country,” the letter explained.
Specifically, RFA is asking EPA to use its authority to relax the RVP limits to 10 psi for all finished gasoline blended with ethanol in conventional and RFG areas nationwide, through Sept. 15.
“The action we are requesting would significantly enhance flexibility for blenders and refiners, and help alleviate the logistical challenges and shortfalls that are causing gas prices to spike,” RFA explained. “Relaxing RVP requirements to 10.0 psi nationwide would immediately allow gasoline blenders to produce fuel that complies with EPA regulations using any available gasoline blendstock on the market. It would also immediately allow blenders to use up to 15 percent ethanol by volume in all finished gasoline in all areas of the country, providing a badly needed source of additional supply and helping to offset gasoline shortfalls resulting from refinery and terminal outages.”
“Ethanol is priced roughly 20 cents per gallon below gasoline blendstock today, and supplies are ample in all regions of the country,” said RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen. “We are simply asking EPA to take action that would allow gasoline blenders to maximize their use of low-cost, locally available ethanol supplies to help alleviate gas price spikes resulting from Hurricane Harvey. In effect, we are requesting that EPA end the summer RVP control season a few weeks early so that ethanol can more effectively help with the current fuel supply emergency.”
The full letter to Administrator Pruitt is available here.