SAN ANTONIO — Right now, the average price for a gallon of regular gas in San Antonio is hovering just over $3.50. It has come down from its peak, but in this installment of VERIFY we look into one way the federal government hopes to bring it down even more.
President Joe Biden this week announced that Americans can use E-15 ethanol to fuel their vehicles this summer as an emergency waiver.
Typically, gasoline is blended with E-10 ethanol, which is gas made of 10% ethanol. The EPA usually does not allow E-15 gasoline to be sold from June to mid-September because of air quality concerns since it is more volatile in the summer months.
Is it true that a summer ethanol wavier will help bring down gas prices in San Antonio and south Texas?
- UTSA professor and economist, Dr. Thomas Tunstall
- Brian Martucci, a science editor, Money Crashers.
WHAT WE FOUND
"It seems likely. Estimates are that it would bring it down by 10 cents a gallon, which is helpful," Dr. Tunstall said. "Hardly will it bring gas prices down to $2 a gallon, but the sticker shock a lot of folks have been facing. This will help that."
A gallon of E-15 gasoline is close to three percent cheaper than a gallon of E-10 gasoline.
"It's not going to be like a dramatic decrease. The Biden administration said 10 cents at the gas stations that are affected, maybe 15 cents some other folks have said," Martucci added. "So you'll notice that if the price of oil remains constant."
So yes, it is true: A summer ethanol waiver will help bring down gas prices in San Antonio and south Texas.
However the Environmental Protection Agency says E-15 gas won't be available to all drivers. Vehicles approved for E-15 use include: Flexible fuel vehicles, conventional vehicles of model year 2001 and newer. Vehicles prohibited from using E-15 include all motorcycles, all vehicles with heavy-duty engines, such as school buses and delivery trucks, all off-road vehicles, such as boats and snowmobiles, all engines in off-road equipment, such as chain saws and gasoline lawnmowers, and all conventional vehicles older than model year 2001.