U.S. consumers will see a change at the gas pump after the Environmental Protection Agency approved the use of E-15 ethanol year-round.
E-15 is a fuel blend using 15 percent ethanol. Standard gasoline contains 10 percent or less. In 2011, the EPA approved the sale of E-15, but banned it from June until September, citing potential environmental issues. However, the agency has now approved sales of E15 year-round.
At the gas station, drivers will now see E-15 pumps. Some will be displayed as "Regular 88," one octane level higher than standard 87. Right now only a few thousand gas stations in the U.S. sell the fuel
In the June 2019 Fuel Ethanol Workshop and Expo held in Indianapolis, Mr. Tom Chalfant , a farmer and Vice Chairman of Cardenal Ethanol was quoted in Fox News as follows:
“About 30 percent of U.S. corn goes into ethanol production, keeping up the demand for Midwestern corn. Without ethanol, corn prices would be very, very cheap, the government would be making subsidy payments to farmers, and farmers would rather make their money out of the market than from government subsidies.”
However, environmentalists fear E-15 will have a harmful impact on air and water quality.
Addressing the concerns, The Indiana Department of Environmental Management published the following statement:
"IDEM’s Office of Air Quality indicated there is a slight increase in evaporative volatile organic compound emissions with E15 gasoline, but they are not very reactive to induce ozone formation. Therefore, there is no notable impact on actual air quality."
The EPA has approved the use of E-15 in car models 2001 and newer.