This Thursday, Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL) of the House Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy will hold a hearing on the “Domestic Fuels Act of 2012” (H.R. 4345), which would provide a legal and regulatory pathway for retailers to sell EPA-approved fuels including E15.
Witnesses have not yet been named for the hearing.
The legislation would give the EPA Administrator the authority to issue guidelines to determine whether new and existing underground storage tanks and dispensing equipment are compatible with EPA-approved fuels.
It also provides misfueling protection for retailers who abide by EPA’s E15 labeling requirements. For instance, if a motorist ignores the labels and fuels a 2000 model year or older vehicle with E15, the retailer should not be held liable if he/she correctly has the E15 label in place. The legislation satisfies this concern, so that retailers can offer E15 with confidence. Secondly, if a retailer stores and dispenses E15 in equipment that satisfies EPA’s compatibility requirements then that retailer won’t be held liable.
Until H.R. 4345 is signed into law, the Petroleum Marketers Association of America (PMAA) believes E15 sales will be minimal due to the legal and regulatory consequences.