RFA Asks EPA To Allow Higher Ethanol Blends In Midwest Region After Refinery Outage Leads To High Prices At The Pump

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On August 14, 2015, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) asked EPA to waive Reid Vapor Pressure requirements for E15 and to also allow E12 blending. Reid Vapor Pressure is a measure of gasoline's volatility and is regulated in the summer months to reduce health risks caused by evaporative emissions. The request by the RFA occurred in the wake of a 240,000 barrels per day (b/d) refinery outage in Whiting, Indiana that has resulted in 50 cents per gallon cost increases for gasoline in some regions. Ethanol in the Chicago wholesale market is currently $1 per gallon less than gasoline and, if gas stations began carrying E15, gas prices would be reduced by at least 5 cents per gallon, saving drivers in the Midwest about $6 million per day. The RFA argues that the outage illustrates the need to diversify the fuel supply to blunt the consumer impacts of supply availability.

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