WASHINGTON, Mar. 16, 2017 - In order to extend the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to ethanol blends above 10 percent, senators Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, have introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act.

The lawmakers say the bill would increase market access opportunities for higher blends of ethanol by allowing retailers across the U.S. to sell E15 and other higher-ethanol/gasoline fuel blends year-round.

The bipartisan bill would also increase regulatory certainty and eliminate confusion at the pump, the senators say.

Each year, EPA regulates RVP for gasoline and gasoline-ethanol blended from June 1 until Sept. 15 and restricts the retail sale of fuels with ethanol above 10 percent.

Learn about the benefits of subscribing to Agri-Pulse. Sign up for your four-week free trial Agri-Pulse subscription.

Retailers must then change fuels or labeling during the summer fueling season. The senators say this is why retailers often choose not to sell higher ethanol blends, such as E15, since they can only sell these products mid-September until May.

The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act would allow retailers to sell E15 all year long without going through the “costly approval process,” the senators say.

The EPA “should be consistent in the way it treats different fuel blends as a matter of fairness and to give consumers more options for fueling their vehicles,” Grassley said in a release. The senator also noted that EPA has never acted on its authority to grant a Reid vapor pressure waiver for E15. “This bill proposes a legislative fix to fill the void,” he says.