Summer driving season is here, and there’s good news: Whether you’re planning a cross-country road trip or hoping to commute no further than the local pool, you’ll have the opportunity to save on fuel that gets you where you want to be.

That’s because the Biden administration granted a waiver allowing the sale of E15 gasoline this summer. E15 is a fuel blend incorporating 15 percent ethanol, an American-made renewable fuel that burns cleaner than fossil fuels and reduces America’s dependence on foreign oil supplies. In announcing the policy, US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan stressed the critical importance of E15 to “protect Americans from fuel supply challenges resulting from the ongoing war in Ukraine, giving consumers more choices at the pump.”

The EPA issued a similar summer waiver for E15 last year as Vladimir Putin’s aggression disrupted oil markets, ultimately driving the national average price of gas to $5 a gallon for the first time ever. Drivers who chose E15, however, saved 30 cents a gallon, which returned about $100 to the average household between June 1 and September 15, 2002. All told, consumers pocketed nearly $60 million in savings at the pump. last summer thanks to E15.

Now with gasoline supplies even more limited, the EPA has made the wise decision to allow cheaper fuel flow again. How much impact does E15 have? A recent analysis of pump prices from January 2022 and April 2023 showed consumers saved an average of 27 cents a gallon with E15 and reduced $3 to $5 off the average cost per fill.

Summertime E15 offers significant price reduction at a time when inflation is challenging household budgets, but it’s also a big win for the environment. In fact, renewable ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 50 percent compared to fossil fuels, even when accounting for the entire production process from farm to fuel. Selecting E15 over the standard E10 results in an additional 3% drop in greenhouse gas emissions.

Also, E15 is better for air quality than the regular gasoline in use today. In fact, the EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of California have all confirmed that E15 reduces emissions of most of the pollutants that cause smog, by 10 to 15 percent, according to research. most recent.

These studies are validated by real-life experience. Where E15 sales are robust, such as the Midwest, and permitted year-round, as they were from 2019 to present, ground-level ozone concentrations tend to decline. Further evidence is that many urban areas plagued by smog in the 1990s and 2000s enjoy air quality that meets or exceeds federal standards today, simply because the United States started blending ethanol into our gasoline.

There is much to celebrate in the continued sales of E15 throughout the summer of 2023. The only thing better would be to put a permanent fix in place that doesn’t rely on short-term waivers. EPA is already evaluating bipartisan plans by eight governors to allow continued year-round sales of E15 in their states starting in 2024. benefits nationwide.

Bottom line, Americans should be able to enjoy the economic and environmental benefits of E15 at all times and at gas stations across the country. Elected leaders should work together to facilitate this reality of low-cost transportation and lower emissions.

Geoff Cooper is the president and chief executive officer of the Renewable Fuels Association.

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