LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- With ethanol taking a backseat to electric vehicles in the Biden administration's efforts to decarbonize the U.S. fuel supply, the American Coalition for Ethanol wants Congress to make ethanol part of that discussion by considering the "Next Generation Fuels Act of 2021" introduced last week by Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.
In a letter to Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, ACE's CEO Brian Jennings asked for a hearing to be held on the legislation.
"ACE encourages you to schedule a legislative hearing to hear from ethanol companies leading the way towards decarbonization and chart a path for policy that can help meet 2050 decarbonization goals," Jennings said. "If appropriate, ACE or its member companies would be willing to testify at such a hearing."
Ethanol industry groups have expressed support for the bill because it would require a number of steps to be taken to expand the ethanol market as part of the overall climate strategy.
One provision of the bill would require a lifecycle assessment of transportation fuels using the Greenhouse gas and Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation, or GREET, model developed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.
"Assumptions used by Argonne scientists in the GREET model are under constant review and it is updated frequently," Jennings said in the letter.
"The California Low-Carbon Fuel Standard and the Oregon Clean-Fuels Program rely on the GREET model and it has more than 40,000 registered users worldwide. According to the most recent version of GREET, average dry mill corn ethanol production reduces lifecycle GHG emissions by approximately 50% compared to gasoline. Our members are strong supporters of low-carbon fuel policies and removing market barriers to ethanol."
In May, ACE joined a number of stakeholders from the vehicle and technology industries, along with environmental groups, in making recommendations to the committee on how to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2050.
"In June, ACE joined with a similar diverse coalition in support of a national goal of net-zero GHG emissions no later than 2050 and urged your committee to begin the legislative process to develop a low-carbon fuel standard," Jennings said.
"As climate scientists continue to warn of the need for rapid CO2 reductions, ACE members believe maximizing ethanol usage now is the best way to limit CO2 emissions quickly at scale. Today, 97% of all U.S. vehicles are approved to use E15 and nearly 25 million flexible fuel vehicles can operate on blends of ethanol and gasoline up to E85."
In addition, Jennings said ACE believes lifecycle analysis should be done at the facility level and "specifically include GHG reductions made in the production of biofuel crops.
"Whether used to measure carbon intensity in a technology-neutral low-carbon fuel standard or in an octane standard as proposed in the Next Generation Fuels Act, this formulation would ensure federal policies incent further reductions in carbon intensity and reward companies taking these steps."
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