Vilsack talks summer E15 and Prop 12 during Senate hearing

by | Mar 4, 2024 | 5 Ag Stories, News

Secretary Tom Vilsack told Senate Ag members last week during a Senate hearing that he’s confident the EPA will approve an E15 waiver this summer ahead of the agency’s permanent green light for year-round sales starting next year. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst told Vilsack that her state’s ethanol and corn producers and fuel retailers are in the dark on E15 sales this summer after the EPA delayed its permanent fix until 2025, and she asked Vilsack when or if they can expect a waiver this summer. Vilsack said a waiver could come as soon as next month.

Separately, Vilsack responded to senators’ concern over California’s Proposition 12, which restricts sales in the state of products from sows, hens, and calves raised in extreme confinement, even out of state. The Supreme Court sided with California in a challenge, and while Vilsack said he understands why California would want to regulate commerce in their borders, he doesn’t think the pork market was taken fully into consideration with this decision.

Vilsack argued someone must provide national “consistency and clarity,” or 50 different states could have 50 different standards. However, Vilsack also cautioned lawmakers that it won’t be easy to craft a uniform standard.