WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Deb Fischer (R-NE), both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced bipartisan legislation to make E15 available year round. The Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022 would enable the year-round, nationwide sale of ethanol blends higher than 10 percent, helping to lower fuel prices and provide certainty in fuel markets for farmers and consumers.
“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,” said Klobuchar. “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 Senator Fischer to pass this bipartisan bill.”
“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/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,” said Fischer.
The Consumer and Retailer Choice Act of 2022 would allow for the year-round, nationwide sale of E15 by permanently extending Reid vapor pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to ethanol blends above 10 percent. The bill would also prohibit the removal of the 1-psi waiver for E10 ethanol, ensuring uniformity across fuel markets and preventing a patchwork of regulations from disrupting the national fuel supply chain.
In addition to Klobuchar and Fischer, the legislation is sponsored by Senators 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-NB), and Mike Rounds (R-SD).
“Making E15 available year-round is a win for Minnesota’s economy, drivers, and the climate,” said Smith. “Our country needs smart climate solutions like E-15 – an affordable, cleaner fuel that lowers carbon emissions. Ethanol is a vital piece of Minnesota’s economy, and accounts for around $7 billion in economic output in our state. I’m proud to support this bipartisan legislation and will continue to work hard to make sure our renewable fuels industry is supported.”
The legislation has been endorsed by the American Petroleum Institute, National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, the American Farm Bureau Federation, National Sorghum Producers, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Renewable Fuels Association, Growth Energy, SIGMA, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, National Association of Convenience Stores.
In a letter to Congressional leadership, the coalition of agricultural, energy and transportation organizations urged the bill’s swift passage: “We urge Congress to act quickly to adopt legislation that will bring certainty and consistency to the fuel market, while also finally resolving long-standing differences among many stakeholders about fuel volatility regulations.”
Klobuchar has long been a strong advocate for investing in renewable fuel infrastructure, increasing American biofuel production, and upholding the Clean Air Act’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). In July, she introduced bipartisan legislation to lower fuel prices and improve vehicle efficiency. The Next Generation Fuels Act would allow the sale of fuels with higher-octane levels and greater amounts of ethanol.
In April, Klobuchar led a bipartisan group of colleagues in pushing the Biden administration to expand American biofuel availability.
In March, she and Ernst introduced the Home Front Energy Independence Act, bipartisan legislation to expand the availability and production of American biofuel, following President Biden’s ban on importing Russian oil.
In February, she and Grassley led a bipartisan letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prioritize the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) by maintaining the blending requirements for 2022; denying all pending Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs); eliminating proposed retroactive cuts to the renewable volume obligations (RVOs); and setting 2021 RFS volumes at the statutory levels.
Klobuchar and Grassley also introduced bipartisan legislation in December to provide certainty to biofuel producers by preventing the EPA from retroactively reducing RVO levels once finalized.
Additionally, last July, Klobuchar and Fischer introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation, co-sponsored by Smith, to permit the year-round sale of E15.
In June of 2021, Klobuchar introduced a package of bipartisan bills to expand the availability of low-carbon renewable fuels, incentivize the use of higher blends of biofuels, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Co-led by Ernst, the Biofuel Infrastructure and Agricultural Product Market Expansion Act would expand the availability of low-carbon renewable fuels in the marketplace, resulting in cleaner air, lower fuel process, and rural economic vitality.