(WASHINGTON D.C.)- On Tuesday, a group of bipartisan House and Senate lawmakers reintroduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, looking for a nationwide solution to ensure E-15 is available year round. This has once again drawn wide support from across agriculture, the fuel industry and more. Below is reaction from groups such as NCGA, RFA, Growth Energy and ACE to the announced legislation.
Bills Providing Permanent E15 Fix Introduced in House and Senate
The National Corn Growers Association today applauded members of the House and Senate for reintroducing legislation that would provide a permanent, nationwide solution to ensure uninterrupted market access for low-cost, low-emission E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88.
Led by Sens. Deb Fischer (Neb.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Reps. Angie Craig (Minn.), Adrian Smith (Neb.) and Dusty Johnson (S.D.), 35 bipartisan Senate and House members introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, which has again drawn support from a wide range of agriculture, fuel and retail stakeholders.
“The choice of cleaner and less expensive E15 at the pump saves drivers millions of dollars a year and increases the fuel supply to improve our energy security,” said Tom Haag, National Corn Growers Association President. “We thank these bipartisan members of Congress for once again leading on this needed solution to resolve an outdated barrier to consumer choice. There’s no reason for market access to a safe, clean and affordable fuel option to remain in question, and we urge Congress to pass this commonsense legislation.”
Despite EPA approving E15 for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles, 96 percent of vehicles now on the road, and a 2019 update to regulations, a 2021 court decision would have ended year-round market access to E15 last summer without the Biden administration using emergency authority to keep E15 in the market. The administration’s temporary action increased the fuel supply and reduced fuel prices, but fuel choice is again in question for 2023, even though E15 has now been available year-round for consumers the past four years.
Most recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed to implement a plan from eight Midwest governors to require lower-volatility gasoline in their states aimed at ensuring drivers in those states continue to have year-round access to fuel with 15 percent ethanol. However, EPA has proposed to delay implementation until 2024.
NCGA supported the governors’ plan and expressed serious concern over the one-year delay in implementation and the market uncertainty the delay creates for 2023. NCGA also supported the recent bipartisan request from 17 U.S. Senators to President Biden, asking him to direct EPA to again use the agency’s existing authority to increase the fuel supply through uninterrupted access to E15 this summer.
Last year, as the nation faced fuel supply challenges, President Biden directed EPA to use existing agency authority to prevent a disruption in E15 availability between June 1 and Sept. 15. As a result, continued availability of E15 increased the nation’s fuel supply and saved drivers an average of 16 cents per gallon nationwide during those three months, for a total savings of $57 million.
“We urge the Biden administration to use this existing authority to keep this fuel choice in the market and increase the fuel supply, but we also call on Congress to resolve this fuel market uncertainty once and for all by passing the legislation introduced today,” said Haag.
Retailers have increased availability of E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88, to offer consumers choice and lower fuel costs, as well as increase the fuel supply. Ensuring continued E15 sales year-round keeps a lower-emission fuel choice in the marketplace that costs less. E15 cuts evaporative, carbon and tailpipe emissions compared to standard 10 percent ethanol blended fuels. Blending more ethanol to make E15 displaces more toxic components in gasoline, reducing exhaust emissions for cleaner air.
RFA Welcomes Legislation Providing Year-Round E15 Availability
The Renewable Fuels Association today applauded members of the U.S. House and Senate for reintroducing legislation to provide permanent, nationwide availability of the lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 ethanol blend. RFA thanks Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for leading introduction of the bill in the Senate and Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN), Adrian Smith (R-NE) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) for their leadership in the House. The bill has 15 additional co-sponsors each in the House and Senate.
“This commonsense legislation is supported by a broad and diverse coalition, ranging from farmers to filling stations and from ethanol producers to petroleum companies,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We all agree that American drivers need access to lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 at the pump every day of the year and across this country. We thank Sens. Fischer and Klobuchar, Reps. Craig, Smith and Johnson, and all their fellow renewable fuel supporters for continuing the fight and reintroducing these important bills. Enough is enough—it’s time to finally remove the burdensome and nonsensical barrier that has blocked consumer access to cheaper, cleaner E15 for far too long. With the summer driving season right around the corner, we call on Congress to move quickly and adopt this legislation as soon as possible.”
As a result of emergency waivers issued by the Biden administration in April 2022, the availability of E15 saved American drivers nearly $60 million at the pump last summer. Consumers choosing E15 saved an average of $0.23 per gallon last summer, equating to a savings of three to five dollars with every fill-up.
Originally introduced late in the last Congressional session, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act would harmonize fuel volatility regulations for ethanol-blended fuels across the country, allowing for the year-round sale of E15 in conventional gasoline markets. It also would supersede an effort by Midwest state governors to make regulatory changes that would assure the availability of E15 sales year-round in their states, an effort that was approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency but delayed until summer 2024.
Additional Senate bill co-sponsors, listed alphabetically, include Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), John Hoeven (R-ND), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Thune (R-SD).
Additional co-sponsors to the House bill, listed alphabetically, are Reps. Don Bacon (R-NE), Mike Bost (R-IL), Andre Carson (D-IN), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Mike Flood (R-NE), Sam Graves (R-MO), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Darin LaHood (R-IL), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Zach Nunn (R-IA).
Last November, RFA and the American Petroleum Institute led a broad coalition of energy and agriculture organizations that called on Congress to quickly adopt legislation to permanently resolve inconsistent fuel volatility regulations. RFA estimates that nearly 97 percent of registered vehicles on the road today are legally approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use E15, and the vast majority also carry the manufacturer’s endorsement to use E15. Recent analyses by RFA and the U.S. Energy Information Administration confirm that expanded use of E15 provided meaningful consumer savings at the pump last summer, as war in Ukraine pushed crude oil and gasoline prices to historic highs. A recent CSP survey found that one out of every five fuel retailers plan to add the E15 blend at their locations in the coming year; more than 2,800 fuel stations currently carry the blend.
Growth Energy Applauds Reintroduction of Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor issued the following statement today upon the reintroduction of the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act by a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the 118th Congress.
“Without action, the fast-approaching summer driving season could be the first since 2019 without lower-cost E15 blends. This legislation represents an immediate solution that will deliver savings for drivers, lower carbon emissions, and offer greater protection from the global turmoil that continues to cast a shadow over our energy security. There is no reason to keep biofuels from America’s heartland bottled up, especially based on an outdated regulation. We are grateful to Senator Klobuchar, Senator Fischer, and their bipartisan allies who continue to fight for rural families and American drivers. The clock is ticking, but we have outstanding champions in Congress working to ensure that working families don’t lose access to their favorite lower-carbon, lower-cost option on June 1.”
ACE Endorses Congressional Action to Enable E15 Sales Year-Round
Sioux Falls, SD –The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) thanked lawmakers for introducing the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act in both the House and Senate to clarify E15 should be allowed for sale year-round by extending the 1-psi Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to fuel blends containing gasoline and over 10 percent ethanol. The bill received bipartisan, bicameral support led by Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Representatives Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.), and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.). ACE CEO Brian Jennings endorses this legislation in the following statement:
“Securing national and permanent market access for E15 year-round is best done through Congress and we are enormously grateful for the ongoing leadership of Senators Klobuchar and Fischer, and Representatives Craig, Smith and Johnson for introducing this legislation backed with broad bipartisan, bicameral support to clarify the statute once and for all. ACE members look forward to fostering support for this legislation during our annual fly-in at the end of the month.
“Action taken by President Biden and EPA to issue emergency waivers allowing national use of E15 during the summer months of 2022 played a role in the record 10.5% ethanol inclusion rate last year. Given the urgency to ensure uninterrupted market access for 2023, ACE is pushing for immediate action via emergency waivers, passage of this legislation and other options to unleash the cost-saving benefits of E15 this summer.”
Original Senate supporters of the bill include: Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.).
Original House supporters of the bill include: Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Sam Graves (R-Miss.), Mike Flood (R-Neb.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Jake LaTurner (R-Kan.), Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Miss.), Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.), Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), and Zach Nunn (R-Iowa).