Friday is the beginning of the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) restriction on E15 sales across most of the country during the summer driving season. The restriction runs from June 1 to September 15. It comes at a time when American drivers would benefit greatly from some relief at the pump. Instead, consumers are barred from purchasing lower cost fuel at a time when gas prices are approaching a national average of three dollars per gallon. That’s a higher average price than consumers have paid in years.
“Every summer, earth-friendly E15 is held to tougher standards than other fuels sold year-round, cutting off sales and imposing needless costs on retailers and consumers alike,” says Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor. Retailers face costs of up to $1.5 million each year just to relabel their pumps around RVP, while other markets are entirely shut off for consumers because retailers can’t adjust for these astronomical barriers. “RVP relief now means lifting our rural economy out of the worst crisis in a generation, with farm income plunging to a 12-year low,” Skor says. “It also means putting the industry on a path to generate 1.3 billion gallons of additional ethanol demand within five years.”