EPA to open comment period on E15 waiver request; ACE circulates petition

By Erin Voegele | April 14, 2009
Web exclusive posted April 17, 2009, at 2:00 p.m. CST

The U.S. EPA is seeking public comments on the E15 waiver application that was submitted by Growth Energy and 54 ethanol manufacturers on March 6. The comment period will be open for 30 days after the notice is published in the Federal register. Current statute calls for EPA to make a decision on the waiver within 270 days of receipt, which is Dec. 1. For more information on the current status of the E15 waiver request and to learn how to submit comments, please visit EPA's website.

"Lifting the arbitrary cap and allowing ethanol blends of up to 15 percent is our nation's means to achieve commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol, green jobs and a better environment," said Jeff Broin, POET LLC's chief executive officer. "It is important that Americans use this comment period to let the Environmental Protection Agency know how important homegrown ethanol is to our nation."

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) is also encouraging those in his state to weigh in with the EPA and support the waiver request for E15. "Renewable fuels have been a great success story in both our attempts to reduce our overdependence on imported oil and the need to expand our use of renewable fuels," he said. "This expansion to higher blends is a critical step in expanding our biofuels industry and moving toward cellulosic ethanol."

"Comment periods were designed as a way for the public to provide input into agency decisions," continued Thune. "I encourage constituents to take this opportunity to share their thoughts on the use of higher blends of ethanol in non-flex fuel vehicles."

The American Coalition for Ethanol is hosting a petition for the E15 waiver on its website. The organization seeks to gather as many signatures as possible to demonstrate to Congress, the White House and EPA that America wants more ethanol. To learn more about the petition, please visit ACE's website.