Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and 13 bipartisan Senate cosponsors, introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act today, which would ensure permanent, full-market access to E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88.
The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) 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to have year-round access to safe, low-cost, low-emission E15 and provides a commonsense resolution to a long-standing outdated barrier to consumer choice.”
Despite EPA approving E15 for use in all 2001 and newer vehicles and a 2019 update to regulations, a 2021 court decision would have ended year-round market access to E15 last summer without the Biden administration using emergency authority to keep E15 in the market. The administration’s temporary action increased the fuel supply and reduced fuel prices, but fuel choice is again in question for 2023.
This legislation would provide a permanent remedy to the problem on a national basis, even as several Midwest governors have also initiated a state-by-state solution.
“Following roadblocks and uncertainty on federal actions, governors took matters into their hands this year, and their initiative spurred renewed interest in a nationwide solution,” said Haag. “Corn growers support EPA moving forward to implement the governors’ notices for 2023 until a national solution, like the one senators introduced today, becomes law and resolves this issue once and for all.”
Ensuring continued E15 sales year-round keeps a lower-emission fuel choice in the marketplace that costs less. E15 cuts evaporative, carbon and tailpipe emissions compared to standard 10 percent ethanol blended fuels. Blending more ethanol to make E15 displaces more toxic components in gasoline, reducing exhaust emissions for cleaner air.