Representatives Angie Craig, Adrian Smith Lead Bipartisan Effort from Congressional Biofuels Caucus in Introducing Legislation to Allow Year-Round E15 Sales

  • Wednesday, 14 July 2021 09:44

Representative Angie Craig

Jul 14, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Representatives Angie Craig (D-MN) and Adrian Smith (R-NE) led Co-Chairs of the Congressional Biofuels Caucus in introducing the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act, bipartisan legislation that would ensure that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can grant waivers to allow E15 and higher blend fuels to be sold at retailers year-round. Craig and Smith introduced the legislation after a federal appeals court struck down an EPA rule that lifted restrictions on the year-round sale of certain corn ethanol fuel blends. The legislation would provide key stability and predictability for family farmers and biofuels producers across the country.

Craig and Smith were joined in leading the introduction of the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act by caucus co-chairs Representatives Cindy Axne (D-IA), Rodney Davis (R-IL), Dusty Johnson (R- SD) and Mark Pocan (D-WI).

“E15 and higher blend biofuels expand markets for family farmers, support economic growth in rural America and cut down on dangerous pollutants released into the air we breathe,” said Representative Craig. “It’s long past time that the year-round sale of these renewable fuels was made permanent, expanding the market for lower-cost, lower-carbon fuel choices all across America. I’m proud to work with Representative Smith on this critical legislation to support our biofuels producers and family farmers, while expanding options at the pump for consumers across the country.” 

“I have long championed the uninterrupted sale of E15 to provide consumers consistency in their fuel tank and farmers consistency in their production,” said Representative Smith. “Time after time I’ve introduced legislation to emphasize and reinforce EPA’s authority to allow the year-round sale of E15. With the recent D.C. Circuit Court ruling to roll back RVP waivers, it’s imperative we clarify congressional intent once and for all: there is no reason E15 should not have the same regulatory relief as E10.”

Earlier this month, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an EPA rule that allowed retailers to sell E15 blends of ethanol year-round by granting a waiver from Reid Vapor Pressure requirements. The court ruled that the EPA had exceeded its authority by lifting summertime restrictions on the sale of ethanol blends. While the court’s ruling has not yet taken effect, Craig and Smith’s legislation would preempt any restrictions by providing a legislative fix to ensure the permanent year-round sale of E15 and higher blend biofuels. 

In Congress, Representative Craig has been a longstanding champion of family farmers and biofuels and an outspoken critic of efforts to weaken the Renewable Fuel Standard. Earlier this year, Craig led the introduction of the bipartisan Renewable Fuel Standard Integrity Act, which would ensure transparency in the small refinery waiver process. Craig also worked with Representative Randy Feenstra to introduce the bipartisan SRE Clarification Act  to clarify and rein in small refinery exemptions in order to prevent the further expansion and abuse of a waiver process that has negatively impacted family farmers and ethanol producers for several years.

The bipartisan Year-Round Fuel Choice Act is supported by Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association and the National Corn Growers Association. The co-chairs were joined in introducing this legislation by Representatives Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Jason Smith (R-MO), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Ron Estes (R-KS), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Mike Bost (R-IL), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Jim Baird (R-IN), James Comer (R-KY), Michelle Fishbach (R-MN), Ron Kind (D-WI) and Darin LaHood (R-IL). 

Read the original press release here