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Growth Energy Statement on Iowa’s Motion on EPA’s Failure to Comply with the Law and Allow for the Year-Round Sale of E15 in the Midwest

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Yesterday, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird filed a motion for summary judgment regarding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s failure to respond to the opt-out request filed by Iowa and six other midwestern states that would allow them to sell E15—a fuel made with 15% bioethanol—year-round in their states. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement in response:

“Biofuels leaders in Iowa, Nebraska, and other states have been more than patient. For more than a year past the statutory deadline they’ve waited for EPA to follow the law and allow them to make E15 available in their states year-round.

“They’ve been forced to return to court to compel EPA to do something it was required to have done by July 2022. What’s more, in its continued decision to illegally delay acting on the governors’ request, EPA has cited fuel distribution concerns that are greatly overstated, and can likely be attributed to the oil industry using scare tactics to prevent consumers from getting greater access to a fuel that costs less, burns cleaner, and displaces their products with every gallon.

“E15 is a low-carbon fuel that saves consumers money. It’s better for the air and it’s better for the rural economy. While it should never have come to this, today the entire biofuels industry, the broader bioeconomy, and the driving public of the Midwest owes Iowa and Nebraska a debt of gratitude for seeking to provide year-round access to E15.”

Background

Earlier this year, the governors of several midwestern states sent letters to EPA calling for regulatory parity between E10 (standard gasoline) and E15 (a blend with 15% bioethanol) in their states through Section 211(h)(5) of the Clean Air Act, accompanied by research illustrating the benefits of E15 to air quality. After acknowledging receipt of the governors’ request, EPA proposed a rule in March 2023 to make the necessary regulatory changes to implement year-round sale of E15 in those states beginning for the summer of 2024.

In August 2023, the petitioning states filed suit calling on the EPA to actually finalize its proposed rule governing the state opt-out waiver that would allow retailers in their states to sell E15 year-round. Today’s filing for summary judgment is a part of that case.

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