March 14, 2017 | Vol. 67, No. 6
Dear PEI Member:
First up for possible legislative action is a bill that would make it easier for fuel marketers to sell E15 year-round. Introduced on March 2 in both houses of the U.S. Congress by bipartisan legislators from corn-growing states, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act has garnered lots of backing from the ethanol industry and, so far, only muted opposition.
From June 1 to Sept. 15, the Clean Air Act places extra limits on the evaporative emissions of the nation’s fuel supply. With the warmer temperatures during these months, highly volatile fuels evaporate rapidly and increase air pollution, particularly ground-level ozone.
Volatility is typically measured by the fuel’s “Reid vapor pressure” (RVP). The higher the RVP, the greater the fuel’s tendency to evaporate. In most jurisdictions, the allowable summertime RVP for non-flex fuel vehicles is 9 psi. E10’s RVP is about 10. However, in 1991, EPA granted a one-pound waiver to E10, thereby putting the fuel under the summertime limit. As a result, E10 is widely available across the country during the summer.
E15 has an RVP comparable to that of E10—at or slightly below 10 psi. Nevertheless, when EPA acted in 2011 to approve the sale of E15 for model-year 2001 and newer vehicles, it did not grant a RVP waiver that would allow the fuel to be broadly sold during the summer.
The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act would extend the summertime RVP waiver to E15, thus opening the way for the fuel to be sold all year long.
Ethanol advocates say the inability to sell E15 in the summer is a major disincentive for many retailers that otherwise would consider offering the higher blend. And the 650 U.S. marketers that so far have chosen to sell E15 are forced to choose between two awkward options to comply with the RVP summer requirements. One option is to put labels on their E15 dispensers that warn consumers the fuel is “for flex-fuel vehicles only” on June 1—and then remove the labels on Sept. 16. Alternatively, retailers may choose to not sell the higher blend at all from June 1 to Sept. 15.
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In recent months, the movement toward E15 has been gaining momentum, with a number of large chains (including Kum & Go, Sheetz, RaceTrac, MAPCO, Murphy USA and Family Express) now selling the blend at some of their locations. If enacted, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act would accelerate that momentum.
While congressional leaders have not announced a timetable for consideration of the bill, corn-state legislators almost certainly will attempt to push the legislation forward before the 2017 summer driving season.
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION FOR SERVICE &
CONSTRUCTION MANAGERS CONFERENCE ENDS TODAY
The conference, hosted by PEI at the Westin Indianapolis Hotel, will offer general sessions and roundtable discussions specifically geared to the needs of service and construction managers. Attendees also will learn more about the scientifically based skills aptitude test for service technicians recently introduced by PEI. Registration by midnight tonight, March 14, is $295 for PEI members ($545 for nonmembers). Beginning tomorrow, the registration fee increases to $395 for members ($695 for nonmembers). Registration includes all conference materials, three general sessions, four roundtable discussions, three meals and two receptions.
To learn more about the 2017 PEI Service & Construction Managers Conference, register and reserve your hotel room, click HERE.
PEI thanks the corporate sponsors whose generosity has helped make this conference possible. Three new additions—Icon Containment Solutions, AvaLAN Wireless and Central Illinois Mfg. Co—recently joined 12 other previously announced sponsors.
OSHA TIGHTENS SILICA DUST RULES FOR
PEI FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS DUE
FREE WEBINAR ON SERVICE TECH SKILLS
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The TulsaLetter (ISSN 0193-9467) is published two or three times each month by the Petroleum Equipment Institute. Richard C. Long, Editor. Opinions expressed are the opinions of the Editor. Basic circulation confined to PEI members.