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RFA Welcomes ‘Innovative’ Next Generation Fuels Act

August 26, 2021



The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors for introducing the Next Generation Fuels Act of 2021. The bill establishes a high-octane, low-carbon fuel standard that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enable greater engine efficiency, encourage competition, and lower pump prices. In addition, the legislation addresses regulatory impediments that have slowed the commercialization of these fuels and the vehicles that consume them.


“We commend Congresswoman Bustos and the co-sponsors of the Next Generation Fuels Act for laying out an innovative roadmap to more efficient, more affordable, lower-carbon fuels,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Waiting and hoping for massive growth in battery electric vehicle sales and a greener electricity grid is not the way to address today’s energy security, air quality, and climate concerns. We need real solutions right here, right now. This legislation would ensure cleaner, greener liquid fuels are available in the near term to reduce carbon emissions, improve fuel efficiency and protect human health.”


Cooper noted that low-carbon liquid fuels like ethanol will be an essential part of the strategy to reach net-zero GHG emissions by mid-century. He added that in a recent letter to President Biden, RFA’s member companies committed to achieving a net-zero carbon footprint for ethanol by 2050 or sooner.


Specifically, the Bustos bill would establish high-octane (95 and 98 RON) certification test fuels containing 20-30 percent ethanol, while requiring automobile manufacturers to design and warrant their vehicles for the use of these fuels beginning with model year 2026. The bill also includes a low-carbon requirement, specifying that the source of the octane boost must reduce lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by an average of at least 40% compared to a 2021 gasoline baseline, as measured by the Department of Energy’s GREET model. The legislation also includes a restriction on the aromatics content of gasoline, ensures parity in the regulation of gasoline volatility (Reid vapor pressure), corrects key variables used in fuel economy testing and compliance, requires an update to the EPA’s MOVES model, ensures infrastructure compatibility, and addresses many other regulations impeding the deployment of higher octane blends at the retail level.


Original co-sponsors of the bill are Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO), Rep. Cindy Axne (D-IA), Rep. James Comer (R-KY), and Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL).