The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked Iowa’s bipartisan congressional delegation for telling the Biden administration that ethanol can and should be allowed to play a larger role in strengthening American energy security and lowering record-high pump prices.
“We applaud these six champions for once again working together in the interest of our country’s energy security and rural economy,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “Ethanol has reduced the cost of gasoline by an average of 22 cents per gallon, thanks to the Renewable Fuel Standard, and higher blends like E15 can do more. Just yesterday, ethanol was selling for $1 per gallon less than gasoline in wholesale markets. U.S. biorefineries have the spare capacity to entirely replace the volume of gasoline produced from Russian petroleum imports; the industry stands ready to help, just as it did during the onset of the pandemic by supplying critical and essential products to the marketplace.”
In their letter to EPA Administrator Michael Regan, the six lawmakers—Sens. Charles Grassley and Joni Ernst, and Reps. Randy Feenstra, Cindy Axne, Ashley Hinson, and Mariannette Miller-Meeks—urged the Biden administration “to expand the production and potential export of domestic ethanol and biodiesel to meet global energy needs.”
“As a domestically produced, renewable fuel source, ethanol and other biofuels strengthen-our national security and achieves the Administration's climate goals,” the six lawmakers wrote. “Bolstering our domestic energy production through policies that prioritize the increased use of America's ethanol and other biofuels will ensure a reliable and stable source of energy for years to come.”
RFA Chief Economist Scott Richman spelled out ethanol’s role in lowering gas prices in a recent blog post, due to its lower cost compared to gasoline blendstock and the fact that is was replacing more expensive crude oil. Those benefits only expanded since the analysis was published, as oil prices have continued to skyrocket.
“As a competitively priced fuel that reduces demand for crude oil and gasoline, ethanol is helping to significantly mitigate today’s high gasoline prices,” he wrote. “Moreover, ethanol has broader societal benefits: cutting greenhouse gas emissions by roughly half compared to gasoline, improving air quality and strengthening the economy of rural America. These are worth keeping in mind, both in the near term and as the energy transition proceeds.”