The Renewable Fuels Association today thanked Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and a bipartisan group of co-sponsors for introducing the Next Generation Fuels Act in the Senate. The bill establishes a high-octane, low-carbon fuel standard that would lower pump prices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enable greater engine efficiency, and encourage competition. In addition, the legislation addresses regulatory impediments that have slowed the commercialization of these fuels and the vehicles that consume them.
Along with Sen. Grassley, original cosponsors include Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). A similar bill was introduced last year in the House of Representatives by Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and currently has 25 bipartisan cosponsors.
“We sincerely thank Sen. Grassley, along with Sens. Klobuchar, Ernst, and Duckworth, for introducing the Next Generation Fuels Act in the Senate,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “These lawmakers recognize that Americans will continue to rely on liquid fuels and internal combustion engines for decades to come, and their legislation would ensure consumers have access to more efficient, lower-carbon, lower-cost fuels for their vehicles. This summer’s geopolitical instability, record-high gas prices, and more frequent climate disasters all underscore the need for real and immediate energy solutions for American families. This bill provides those sensible solutions, and we look forward to working with clean fuel supporters in both chambers of Congress to turn this bold vision into a reality.”
In addition to saving drivers money at each fill-up, low-carbon liquid fuels like ethanol are an essential part of the strategy to reach net-zero GHG emissions by mid-century, Cooper said, and RFA’s member companies have committed to achieving a net-zero carbon footprint for ethanol by 2050 or sooner.
Specifically, the Next Generation Fuels Act 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 percent 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.