Few hours ago, Shane announced via his twitter that E2 is working to include the option to pay for EPLs with Essence when it releases. This development follows Shane's earlier interaction with the Earth2 community, where the community expressed its displeasure at the change in stance where EPLs were announced to be purchasable using only E$. Prior to this change, E2 had previously communicated that users could purchase EPL using Essence. The main argument of players was that since E2 had already announced Essence as a means to get EPLs, they purchased Mentars (which are otherwise free after a wait/build period) to ensure they had enough Essence for EPLs.
But now, noting the feedback from the players, it seems EPLs will be made available for purchase using both Essence as well as E$.
It is massively commendable that Shane/ Earth2 has incorporated Earth2 community's feedback and made the Essence option available for EPL purchase. However the crucial take-away from when this happens is that since EPL will be priced both in Essence and in E$, it will implicitly peg the value of Essence to E$. We don't know what that will be, but say if E2 sticks to $4.95 for an EPL, it will be interesting to see how much Essence is that in equivalent terms. Its only logical to guess that such pegging may set the anchor for the price when Essence P2P trading begins (assuming EPLs are released before Essence trading commences).
It will also be interesting to see how players respond to these choices, and whether they will heed Shane's advice to hold on to Essence and rather use E$ to purchase EPLs.
However this turns out - it heralds the birth of the Essence/E$ pair on Earth2.