Senators Reintroduce E15 Legislation
E15 Bill Reintroduced in Senate as Summer Driving Season Approaches
LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- U.S. senators on Tuesday reintroduced legislation to allow year-round E15 sales nationally, as the ethanol industry continues to push for those sales to be allowed for the 2023 summer driving season that starts on June 1.
As reported by DTN last week, https://www.dtnpf.com/…, Sens. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, reintroduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act.
The EPA two weeks ago launched a public-comment period on a proposal to grant petitions from eight Midwest states to make a change in federal law to allow year-round E15 sales permanently in those states.
Last week, attorneys general in Iowa and Nebraska filed an intent to sue with EPA Administrator Michael Regan if the agency does not change the effective date of granting those petitions from 2024 to 2023.
Last November the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022 was introduced in the Senate by Fischer and then in the House in December by Rep. Angie Craig, D-Minn.
The bill introduced on Tuesday has the endorsement of the National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, American Coalition for Ethanol, American Petroleum Institute, SIGMA, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, and the National Association of Convenience Stores.
The legislation would make national the same request made by the governors of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The Clean Air Act allows governors to notify EPA that they wish to reject the use of the 1-psi waiver for E10 in their states. This would result in the application of the same volatility limitation to both E15 and E10 -- essentially putting E10 and E15 on the same footing.
The new bill is cosponsored by Sens. John Thune, Pete Ricketts, Tammy Baldwin, Chuck Grassley, Tina Smith, Kevin Cramer, Debbie Stabenow, Mike Rounds, Tammy Duckworth, Jerry Moran, Dick Durbin, Roger Marshall, Sherrod Brown, Joni Ernst and John Hoeven.
The reintroduction of the bill received wide acclaim from ethanol, agriculture and petroleum interests.
"By allowing for the year-round sale of E15 nationwide while also preserving access to lower ethanol gasoline blends, this bipartisan legislation brings much-needed consistency and long-term certainty to the marketplace," said Will Hupman, vice president of downstream policy at the API. "We're hopeful that Congress will recognize the broad and diverse support that this bill has already received and work quickly to pass it into law,"
Tom Haag, president of the National Corn Growers Association, said the bipartisan support of the legislation is reason for Congress to pass the measure.
"The choice of low-cost, low-emission E15 at the pump saves drivers millions of dollars a year and increases the fuel supply to improve our energy security," Haag said in a statement.
"There's no reason for market access for a safe, clean and affordable fuel option to be in question, and we urge Congress to pass this common-sense legislation."
Brian Jennings, CEO of the American Coalition for Ethanol, said in a statement Congress needs to act immediately to keep E15 access in place for the upcoming driving season.
"Securing national and permanent market access for E15 year-round is best done through Congress, and we are enormously grateful for the leadership of Sens. Fischer, Klobuchar and other senators for introducing this legislation to clarify the statute once and for all," he said.
"Given the urgency to ensure uninterrupted market access for 2023, ACE is pushing for passage of this legislation and other options to unleash the cost saving benefits of E15 this summer."
Renewable Fuels Association President and CEO Geoff Cooper said consumers face the same scenario they did last summer when it comes to rising fuel prices.
"Ethanol producers, oil refiners, fuel retailers, equipment manufacturers and farmers have all come together to support this commonsense legislation that ensures year-round availability of lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 at the pump," Cooper said in a statement.
"As war in Ukraine continues to wreak havoc on global energy markets, this bill helps keep gas prices in check and extends the U.S. fuel supply."
Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor said there is no reason to restrict E15 usage.
"Without action, the fast-approaching summer driving season could be the first since 2019 without lower-cost E15 blends," she said in a statement.
"This legislation represents an immediate solution that will deliver savings for drivers, lower carbon emissions, and offer greater protection from the global turmoil that continues to cast a shadow over our energy security. There is no reason to keep biofuels from America's heartland bottled up, especially based on an outdated regulation."
Read more on DTN:
"Biden Approves State E15 Requests," https://www.dtnpf.com/…
"Iowa, Nebraska Attorneys General to Sue EPA on Delay on E15 Rule Unless Effective Date Moved Up," https://www.dtnpf.com/…
Todd Neeley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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