Illinois Biofuels Producers, Industry Leaders Join Call for Bustos’ Next Generation Fuel Act

Source: By Office of Congresswoman Cheri Bustos • Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020

WASHINGTON – Biofuels producers and leading organizations in Illinois are joining the call in support of Congresswoman Cheri Bustos’ (IL-17) Next Generation Fuels Act today, citing the bill’s potential to increase demand for biofuels and corn and to create economic opportunity for rural communities.

Introduced last month, Congresswoman Bustos’ bill would leverage greater fuel octane to reduce carbon emissions from transportation, improve air quality by reducing the use of harmful aromatics and increase demand for biofuels.

“We need to work toward a future that builds economic opportunity for our producers while supporting sustainable, clean energy,”Congresswoman Bustos said“With the Next Generation Fuels Act, we can both reduce carbon emissions and increase biofuels demand. I am thrilled to receive the support of these homegrown leaders today and look forward to working with them to take this next step toward a brighter tomorrow for our corn farmers and the biofuels industry.”

“Corn farmers in Illinois are excited about the new demand opportunity made possible by the Next Generation Fuels Act. This is truly the next generation of corn and ethanol demand drivers since the Renewable Fuel Standard of 2005 and 2007,” said Bill Leigh, Minonk, IL corn farmer and IL Corn Growers Association President. “It represents an opportunity for economic development for rural economies all over Illinois.  Additionally, Rep. Bustos’s bill gives the American consumer a liquid fuel option that is good for the environment, good for public health, and good for the economy.  It’s a win-win.”

“Farmers are always seeking to increase demand for crops we grow and to expand the market for biofuels. That’s why we thank U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos’ for her leadership on the Next Generation Fuels Act,” said Illinois Farm Bureau president Richard Guebert, Jr, a Randolph County grain farmer. “Rep. Bustos’ bill is timely and lays the legislative groundwork for development, production, and use of environmentally friendly higher-octane, low-carbon fuels. Rep. Bustos’ focus on developing next generation fuels is a win for farmers, motorists, and the rural economy. Higher octane ethanol blends will increase demand for our feedstocks, generate economic returns and ultimately cleaner air.”

“Big River Resources, LLC applauds and thanks Congresswoman Bustos for her efforts on the development of the Next Generation Fuels Act of 2020. This bill recognizes the importance of ethanol as an efficient, low carbon, environmentally friendly fuel that supports our Midwest Agricultural Economy,” said Jim Leiting, CEO, Big River Resources, LLC.

“As our Representative, Congresswoman Bustos has always been a good friend to Adkins Energy. We’re grateful to her for fighting for clean, renewable energy that boosts our region’s economy. We hope that the Next Generation Fuels Act will spur more growth for the ethanol industry.” said Ray Baker, General Manager, Adkins Energy.

“Ethanol is a low carbon fuel that burns cleanly and increases the octane of gasoline, allowing internal combustion engines to operate more efficiently. PEI thanks Congresswoman Bustos for recognizing ethanol’s unique low-carbon, high-octane benefits and we agree that renewable fuels will play a critically important role in the transition to a lower carbon economy.” said Jim Sneed, Chief Commercial Officer, Pacific Ethanol Inc. (PEI) PEI owns and operates multiple facilities in Pekin, IL.

“This bill is an enormous step in the right direction on so many of the issues that have been limiting the benefits of renewable fuels. As our country moves rapidly toward a low-carbon future, this legislation offers the path to a homegrown, green renewable fuel that also offers higher octane for newer, more efficient engine technology. We thank Rep. Bustos for her longtime support for renewable fuels and her leadership in this particular effort.” said Eric Mosbey, General Manager, Lincolnland Agri-Energy LLC.


Fuels with greater levels of octane are more stable and have the potential to make engines more fuel-efficient. This legislation establishes a minimum octane standard for gasoline and requires sources of the added octane value to reduce carbon emissions by at least 30 percent compared to baseline gasoline. The legislation limits the use of harmful aromatics in meeting this new higher octane standard, as well as in current-market gasoline.

Due to ethanol’s high octane rating, utilizing low-carbon, high-octane ethanol blends results in both additional fuel efficiency and significant greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction benefits. Ethanol is also priced lower than gasoline, making it the most cost-effective octane source.

By requiring the new high octane fuel to utilize low-carbon sources, the Next Generation Fuels Act will decarbonize liquid fuels as vehicle technologies advance. This requirement, coupled with a new limit on harmful aromatics content, ensures that progress already made to lower emissions continues.

Using more petroleum-based sources to increase fuel octane would produce more carbon emissions, erase GHG reduction benefits from improved fuel economy and result in more emissions of harmful hydrocarbon aromatics, which degrade air quality and respiratory health.