Federal Lawmakers Push Biden Administration to Make Year-Round E15 Sales Permanent

Source: By Todd Neeley, DTN Staff Reporter • Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2022

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) — One week after DTN reported EPA was taking steps to restore year-round E15 sales for the upcoming driving season starting on June 1, a bipartisan group of 29 federal lawmakers that make up the House biofuels caucus asked the Biden administration to make such an action permanent.

Last week, EPA Ag Advisor Rod Snyder told an audience of ethanol producers and farmers during a Nebraska Ethanol Board forum that the agency was working with governors from a number of Midwest states to come up with a way to restore E15 sales this driving season, https://www.dtnpf.com/….

The lawmakers said Russian aggression in Ukraine and the administration’s banning of U.S. oil imports from Russia, has created the need to provide fuel alternatives like E15 to combat rising gasoline prices.

In addition, the members of the U.S. House of Representatives also asked the Biden administration to “support ethanol and biodiesel” by drawing back on retroactive proposed cuts to corn ethanol in the 2020 Renewable Fuel Standard volumes.

“Upholding the RFS and permanently reinstating the year-round availability of E15 would lower fuel prices for hardworking Americans,” the lawmakers said in a letter sent to Biden on Thursday.

The lawmakers cite a recent report that found a nationwide shift to E15 could collectively save U.S. consumers more than $12 billion annually.

“These actions would generate economic growth in rural communities that would reduce the impact of inflation on Americans’ pocketbooks,” the letter said.

“For example, ensuring the year-round availability of E15 would support an additional 182,600 jobs and generate an additional $17.8 billion in economic activity. Because ethanol production involves U.S. farmers and processing plants located in rural communities, these benefits would be most directly felt in rural America.”

The letter said ensuring the year-round sale of E15 would potentially replace up to 5% of the liquid petroleum-based gasoline in the U.S. transportation sector with ethanol.

“Protecting the RFS from retroactive reductions will ensure that biodiesel can fill liquid energy deficiencies created by trade and market instability,” the lawmakers said.

“The American people and this Congress stand united in our resolve to support the Ukrainian people in the face of Russian aggression and imperialism. We will take the actions necessary to ensure democracy in Ukraine endures. Increasing domestic energy production is an important part of our effort to sustain sanctions on the Russian economy, and we urge you to increase U.S. energy independence and decrease inflationary pressures at the pump by directing the EPA to ensure the uninterrupted year-round sales of E15 and to protect the integrity of the RFS.”

Read the letter here: https://growthenergy.org/…

Todd Neeley can be reached at todd.neeley@dtn.com

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