EPA approves waiver for higher ethanol fuel this summer

By Marc Heller | 04/19/2024 01:43 PM EDT

The agency said lifting summer restrictions on E15 fuel will protect consumers from price shocks tied to conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine.

An E15 fuel sign.

An E15 fuel sign is seen on display during the 2014 Iowa Renewable Fuels Association meeting in Altoona, Iowa. Charlie Neibergall/AP

EPA said Friday it will temporarily lift summer restrictions on the sale of higher ethanol fuel, citing potential oil price spikes related to conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.

The summertime waiver, for the third year in a row, hands a victory to the ethanol industry, which continues to press policymakers to allow sales of 15 percent ethanol fuel year-round on a permanent basis.

“Allowing E15 sales during the summer driving season will increase fuel supply, while supporting American farmers, strengthening our nation’s energy security, and providing relief to drivers across the country,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said in a news release.


The Biden administration’s move was widely expected, and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack — an ethanol ally — signaled in recent weeks that such a decision was likely.