IRFA: Magellan to offer E15 at all Iowa fuel terminals

By Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | September 22, 2017

Magellan Midstream Partners is making it easier than ever before for Iowa retailers to offer higher-performing, lower-priced E15 to motorists. The fuel pipeline and storage company announced it is now offering pre-blended E15 at many terminals across the U.S., including all Magellan terminals that service Iowa.

Without access to pre-blended E15, retailers have to install blender pumps to blend the fuel onsite. While blender pumps have the benefit of offering many fuels, such as E15, E30 and E85, there is a cost to install the pumps and accompanying equipment. Nearly all underground storage tanks are certified to store E15. Furthermore, all fuel dispensers in Iowa are approved by the Iowa Fire Marshal to dispense E15. Therefore, the ability to purchase pre-blended E15 at the terminal means most Iowa retailers could offer E15 through their existing station infrastructure with little or no equipment upgrades.

“This announcement from Magellan is game-changing,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “It is now possible for most retailers across the state to replace a low-demand product with E15 without investing in major infrastructure upgrades. When you consider 85 percent of the cars on the road can use E15, it just became a much more attractive option for retailers of offer the cleanest, highest-performing, lowest-cost fuel available.”

E15 is approved for all 2001 and newer vehicles. It has an 88 octane rating, increasing vehicle performance, and reduces cancer-causing pollutants and greenhouse gas tailpipe emissions. E15 is also typically priced five to 10 cents less than E10, the most commonly used fuel in the U.S.

“While IRFA remains very supportive of blender pumps because they provide consumers access to even more ethanol blend options, I expect Magellan’s decision to offer pre-blended E15 will rapidly increase the number of Iowa retailers who decide to offer this exciting new fuel.”

Shaw also noted that while this announcement is a win for consumers and retailers, it doesn’t knock down all barriers to offering E15 year-round.

“The Magellan news makes it even more imperative for EPA to fix the unjustified summer RVP restriction on E15 that makes it nearly impossible to sell during that time,” Shaw said. “The EPA recently did just that on a temporary basis to expand fuel supplies and lower prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Well, E15 can do that each and every summer on a permanent basis if only EPA would act.”