WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, introduced bipartisan legislation to lower fuel prices and improve vehicle efficiency. The Next Generation Fuels Act, which Klobuchar introduced with Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Joni Ernst (R-IA), would allow the sale of fuels with higher-octane levels and greater amounts of ethanol, helping to bolster engine efficiency and help lower gas prices.
“I’ve long pushed for investments in readily-available, domestically produced biofuels, which represent an affordable and clean energy option for consumers,” said Klobuchar. “By allowing the use of higher biofuel blends in our fuel supply, our bipartisan legislation will help decrease prices at the pump, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and benefit our economy and environment alike.”
Due to ethanol’s high-octane rating, greater ethanol blends result in both additional fuel efficiency and significant greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction. Ethanol is also priced lower than gasoline, making it the most cost-effective octane source.
The Next Generation Fuels Act would:
- Establish a minimum research octane number (RON) standard of 98 for gasoline;
- Require sources of the added octane value to reduce carbon emissions by at least 40 percent compared to baseline gasoline;
- Decarbonize liquid fuels as vehicle technologies advance; and
- Institute a new limit on harmful aromatics content, ensures that progress already made to expand the use of ethanol while lowering emissions continues.
The legislation is supported by the National Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the Renewable Fuels Association, and Growth Energy. Companion legislation is being led in the House of Representatives by Representative Cheri Bustos (D-IL).
“The Minnesota Corn Growers Association thanks Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and her bipartisan colleagues for introducing the Next Generation Fuels Act in the U.S. Senate. The bill would pave the way for advancements in engine designs that significantly improve vehicle fuel efficiency. It would also allow more drivers to access the benefits of higher ethanol blends, which include significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions and lower costs at the pump. We appreciate the work of this bipartisan group of senators to introduce legislation that would lower fuel prices, reduce carbon emissions and strengthen American energy independence and look forward to working to secure its passage,” said Bryan Biegler, Minnesota Corn Growers Association President.
“The Next Generation Fuels Act would lower fuel prices, reduce carbon emissions and shore-up America’s energy security for the long run. We are very grateful to Sens. Grassley, Klobuchar, Ernst and Duckworth for their leadership on this important issue,” said Iowa farmer and National Corn Growers Association President Chris Edgington.
“We sincerely thank Sen. Klobuchar, along with Sens. Grassley, Ernst, and Duckworth, for introducing the Next Generation Fuels Act in the Senate. These lawmakers recognize that Americans will continue to rely on liquid fuels and internal combustion engines for decades to come, and their legislation would ensure consumers have access to more efficient, lower-carbon, lower-cost fuels for their vehicles. This summer’s geopolitical instability, record-high gas prices, and more frequent natural disasters all underscore the need for real and immediate energy solutions for American families. This bill provides those sensible solutions, and we look forward to working with clean fuel supporters in both chambers of Congress to turn this bold vision into a reality,” said Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association President & CEO.
“The Next Generation Fuels Act represents a clear roadmap for delivering cleaner, more affordable options at the pump for American drivers. With a natural octane of 113, ethanol is the only high-performance, renewable fuel ready to help decarbonize cars on the road today – and with the added benefit of offering consumers significant savings at the pump. We applaud Senators Grassley, Klobuchar, Ernst, and Duckworth for working to promote the use of high-octane, lower-carbon biofuel blends that hold enormous potential for rural America’s role in clean energy production and lowering prices at the pump. We urge swift passage of this legislation as it works to offer both climate solutions and gas price relief to the American people,” said Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor.
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). Last week, she and Grassley led a bipartisan group of 22 colleagues in urging the Biden administration to increase biodiesel volumes to moderate fuel prices and benefit the economy and environment.
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 Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) 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.