The prospect of permanent, nationwide availability of the E15 ethanol blend moves closer with new House legislation that will end an arcane impediment to making the fuel more widely available, the Renewable Fuels Association said. The organization thanked Reps. Angie Craig (D-MN) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) for their leadership on the bill, co-sponsored by 21 additional House members.
“Our nation’s ethanol producers, oil refiners, fuel retailers, equipment manufacturers, and farmers have all come together for the first time ever to support legislation that ensures American families can choose lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 at the pump every single day of the year,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We thank Reps. Craig, Smith, and the other renewable fuel supporters in the House for introducing this bill to bring much-needed consistency and stability to the marketplace. This simple and straightforward solution will finally remove a burdensome and nonsensical barrier to the broader deployment of cleaner, more affordable fuels. We are highly encouraged by the broad, diverse and bipartisan support that this effort is receiving, and we urge Congress to move quickly to adopt this commonsense legislation.”
Specifically, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022 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.
This week, the White House Office of Management and Budget began its official review of the request from the governors, which means the petition remains on track for approval before summer 2023, as outlined by EPA Administrator Michael Regan a few months ago.
The House filed today bill is a companion to bipartisan Senate legislation introduced on Nov. 29 by Sens. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and 13 other senators.
Additional co-sponsors to this House bill, listed alphabetically, are Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA), James R. Baird (R-IN), Jim Banks (R-IN), Ken Buck (R-CO), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), James Comer (R-KY), Ron Estes (R-KS), Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Brad Finstad (R-MN), Michelle Fischbach (R-MN), Mike Flood (R-NE), Sam Graves (R-MO), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Dan Kildee (D-MI), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Tracey Mann (R-KS), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Tim Ryan (D-OH), and Jason Smith (R-MO).
Just yesterday, a group of more than 250 organizations and companies urged the Senate to pass this legislation before the end of the session. “By ensuring uniformity across the nation’s fuel supply chain, federal legislation will provide more flexibility and result in more consistent outcomes than a state-by-state regulatory landscape,” the groups wrote. “In the absence of such legislation, we could see gasoline marketplace uncertainty and political disputes over E15 continue to resurface every summer.”
In 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.