NATSO, SIGMA Applaud Summer Sale Authorization of E15

‘Enables fuel retailers to improve gasoline’s emissions characteristics while lowering fuel prices at the pump,’ industry groups say
E15 summer sales
Photograph: Shutterstock

The National Association of Truck Stop Operators (NATSO) and the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA) commended the Biden Administration for permitting E15 gasoline—gasoline blended with 15% ethanol—be sold during the summer driving season, which was announced on Friday.

Geopolitical factors such as the war in Ukraine coupled with recent unrest in the Middle East that required action from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) during the 2022 and 2023 summer driving seasons have persisted in 2024, NATSO and SIGMA said in a letter the EPA.

This action will provide communities with relief at the pump by increasing fuel supply and offering a variety of gasoline fuel blends from which consumers can choose, EPA said. This waiver will help consumers protect themselves against fuel supply “shocks” by reducing U.S. reliance on imported fossil fuels, continuing to bolster U.S. energy independence, while supporting American agriculture and manufacturing, it added.

Current EPA estimates indicate that on average, E15 is about 25 cents a gallon cheaper than E10. 

E15 enables fuel retailers to improve gasolines emissions characteristics while lowering fuel prices at the pump, said David Fialkov, executive vice president of government affairs at NATSO and SIGMA. Allowing the summer sale of E15 will help to ensure consistent, reasonably priced gasoline supply across the nation.

NATSO and SIGMA, which represent 80% of motor fuel sales in the United States, have long supported a legislative fix to permanently allow year-round E15.

While E15 has been available for summer sale for the past five years, it remains subject to federal restrictions from June to Sept. 15 each year. The Biden Administration granted emergency waivers during the last two summer seasons to ensure access to higher blends year-round, and it adopted a rule offering three years of steady demand under the Renewable Fuel Standard—something that has typically been done on a year-to-year basis in the past.

Currently, in approximately two-thirds of the country, E15 cannot be sold from terminals starting on May 1 and at retail stations starting on June 1. The EPA is providing relief by extending the 1-psi Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver that currently applies to E10 gasoline to E15, which will enable E15 sales throughout the summer driving season in these areas, if necessary. This action only extends the 1-psi waiver to E15 in parts of the country where it already exists for E10.

E15 can already be sold year-round in parts of the country that have a reformulated gasoline program.

The EPA’s emergency fuel waiver will go into effect on May 1 when terminal operators would otherwise no longer be able to sell E15 in the affected regions of the country and will last through May 20 which is the statutory maximum of 20 days.

  • Click here to read CSP's The Future of Fuels 2024.

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