WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an emergency fuel waiver to allow E15 gasoline — gasoline blended with 15% ethanol — to be sold during the summer driving season — a move that was cheered by ag and renewable energy groups.

The EPA in a statement said the action is motivated at providing relief at the pump from supply issues created by Russia’s attacks in Ukraine. The agency said current estimates indicate that E15 is about 25 cents per gallon cheaper than E10, on average.

“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting Americans from fuel supply challenges resulting from the ongoing war in Ukraine by ensuring consumers have more choices at the pump,” EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan said in a statement. “Allowing E15 sales during the summer driving season will not only help increase fuel supply, but support American farmers, strengthen U.S. energy security, and provide relief to drivers across the country.”

E15 cannot be sold in about two-thirds of the country from May 1 to Sept. 1. POET, the world’s largest producer of biofuel, explained in a statement that federal regulations drafted before E15 was available limit the vapor pressure of gasoline during the “summer ozone season.” However, studies have found E15 to have lower evaporative emissions than standard summertime gasoline, which typically contains 10% ethanol.

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