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Bills for year-round E-15 sales enter House and Senate

Bipartisan legislation to permanently allow for sales of E-15 year-round has been reintroduced this week in both the U.S. House and Senate.

Head of the Renewable Fuels Association Geoff Cooper tells Brownfield the bills have a broader and more diverse coalition of supporters than in the past, including many in the oil industry.

“Because not only does it level the playing field for E-10 and E-15 from a regulatory standpoint, but it would supersede a petition that eight midwestern governors submitted to EPA,” he says.

Cooper says the emergency wavier that allowed for summer sales last year has expired which makes getting the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act passed even more pressing.

“If it isn’t done in time for June 1, we do think that the farm bill could be the next best option,” he says.

He says the fuel saved American drivers nearly $60 million at the pump last summer and has the potential to offer even more savings with additional stations offering it.

RFA estimates that nearly 97 percent of registered vehicles on the road today are legally approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use E15, and the vast majority also carry the manufacturer’s endorsement to use E15. 

The legislation was introduced in the Senator by Nebraska Republican Deb Fischer and Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar.  Representatives Adrian Smith of Nebraska, Angie Craig of Minnesota, and Dusty Johnson of South Dakota led the effort in the House.

Other bill supporters include Senators John Thune (R-S.D.), Pete Ricketts (R-Neb.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), and John Hoeven (R-N.D.).

In the House, the bill is backed by: Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Dan Kildee (D-Mich.), Sam Graves (R-Miss.), Mike Flood (R-Neb.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.), Jake LaTurner (R-Kan.), Mike Bost (R-Ill.), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Miss.), Randy Feenstra (R-Iowa), Andre Carson (D-Ind.), Michelle Fischbach (R-Minn.), Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa), Darin LaHood (R-Ill.), and Zach Nunn (R-Iowa).

A wide number of national and state organizations including the National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, America Farm Bureau Federation, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE), and the American Petroleum Institute are also calling for its passage.

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