Fischer, Klobuchar introduce year-round E15 legislation

U.S. Sens. Deb Fischer, R-NE, and Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022. The legislation would allow the year-round, nationwide sale of ethanol blends higher than 10%. Increasing the availability of biofuels like E15 would benefit the economy and the environment.

This federal legislation would also end years of regulatory uncertainty and prevent a patchwork of uneven state regulations.

Importantly, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022 has support from an unprecedented mix of stakeholders, including the National Corn Growers Association, Renewable Fuels of America, Growth Energy, and the American Petroleum Institute.

Additional cosponsors of the bill include Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-IL, Chuck Grassley, R-IA, Tina Smith, D-MN, John Thune, R-SD, Sherrod Brown, D-OH, Joni Ernst R-IA, Roger Marshall, R-KS, Dick Durbin, D-IL, Jerry Moran, R-KS, Tammy Baldwin, D-WI, Kevin Cramer, R-ND, Ben Sasse, R-NE, and Mike Rounds, R-SD.

“We’ve long known that unleashing the full power of ethanol saves consumers money at the pump, supports family farmers, and boosts U.S. energy security. Now, however, we’ve been able to bring critical oil and gas, biofuel, ag, and transportation stakeholders to the table around a common-sense solution. With this strong coalition of support, it’s time Congress act to make year-round E15 a reality,” Fischer said.

“I have long pushed to make E15 available year-round because investing in affordable, readily available biofuels produced in the U.S. is good for drivers and farmers alike. By ensuring consumers can access E15 gasoline throughout the year, our bipartisan legislation will benefit our economy, decrease prices at the pump, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It’s critical that we diversify our fuel supply and invest in affordable energy solutions. I look forward to working with Sen. Fischer to pass this bipartisan bill,” Klobuchar said.

Specifically, the legislation would harmonize fuel volatility regulations for ethanol-blended fuels across the country, allowing for the year-round sale of E15 in conventional gasoline markets, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. The legislation would supersede an effort by eight Midwest state governors to make regulatory changes that would assure the availability of E15 sales year-round in their states.

“For the first time in history, ethanol producers, oil refiners, fuel retailers, equipment manufacturers, and farmers have all come together to support legislation that ensures American families can choose lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 at the pump every single day of the year without interruption,” said RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper. “We thank Sens. Fischer, Klobuchar, and other renewable fuel supporters in the Senate for introducing this legislation, which brings much-needed consistency and stability to the marketplace. It provides a simple, straightforward solution that will finally remove a burdensome and nonsensical barrier to broader deployment of cleaner, more affordable fuels. We are highly encouraged by the broad and diverse support that this effort is receiving, and we urge Congress to move quickly to adopt this commonsense legislation.”

The National Corn Growers Association applauded the new legislation, which has drawn support from a wide range of agriculture, fuel and retail stakeholders as a new opportunity to address a persistent issue.

“Ethanol saves Americans millions of dollars a year at the pump and is a critical part of our nation’s energy security,” said NCGA President Tom Haag. “We thank Sens. Fischer and Klobuchar and their cosponsors for introducing legislation today that will ensure drivers across the country continue to have year-round access to safe, low-cost, low-emission E15 and provides a commonsense resolution to a long-standing outdated barrier to consumer choice.”

Other senators offered their thoughts.

“As gas prices remain painfully high for many Americans, we consistently see E15 provides consumers with a more affordable option for filling up their tanks,” Grassley said. “Ethanol is good for the economy, good for national security and good for the environment. In addition to benefiting consumers, it’s time to give some certainty to our farmers and producers.”

“America’s biofuels industry provides consumers with a carbon-reducing fuel option at the gas pump. This bipartisan legislation ensures E-15 can be sold at gas stations year-round and guarantees farmers will continue to make the world cleaner, safer, and better for years to come,” Marshall said.

“The year-round sale of E15 is a common-sense way to leverage American agriculture and provide drivers with a clean and affordable fuel option. I have long supported measures like this one that would give fuel retailers the certainty they need to offer E15 without seasonal interruption, which also benefits the biofuel industry—an essential market for South Dakota farmers,” Thune said.

Other endorsing groups included National Farmers Union, the America Farm Bureau Federation, National Sorghum Producers, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, American Coalition for Ethanol, SIGMA, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, National Association of Convenience Stores.