Anti-Biofuel Attacks Have Major Economic Consequences

Now more than ever, it is important to remind lawmakers that biofuels are critical to securing an economically robust domestic agricultural supply chain. Securing year-round E15 sales and protecting the Renewable Fuel Standard are top priorities.
By Emily Skor | August 26, 2021

American biofuel producers and clean energy advocates suffered a major setback in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in AFPM v. EPA after oil refiners successfully sued to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to allow the sale of year-round E15, a 15 percent ethanol blend. The oil industry may have gotten what they wanted, but it represents a clear and present threat to our climate, working families, and the economy.

Fortunately, our champions in Congress wasted no time in offering a permanent solution. In the House, the bipartisan Year-Round Fuel Choice Act (H.R. 4410) was introduced by Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) and Adrian Smith (R-Neb.). In the Senate, the bipartisan Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act (S. 2339) was introduced by Sens. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). These bipartisan companion measures would ensure that consumers have uninterrupted access to low-cost, low-carbon E15 year-round at the pump. Alongside these champions, Growth Energy is fighting tooth and nail to ensure this important legislation reaches the desk of President Biden, who has offered repeated commitments to support working families, grow clean energy jobs, and uphold the Renewable Fuel Standard.

As always, we continue to hammer home the importance of higher biofuel blends like E15 for the environment and U.S. climate efforts. As regular readers know, Growth Energy published a study in December showcasing how a transition to E15 could slash carbon emissions by 17.62 million tons per year—equivalent to removing 3.85 million vehicles from the road.

More recently, however, we’ve cast a fresh spotlight on the vital role that E15 plays in delivering economic benefits to consumers and workers alike. During a June appearance before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Subcommittee on Rural Development and Energy, I unveiled the results of a new study demonstrating that a nationwide transition to E15 would add $17.8 billion to the GDP, create 182,600 new jobs, generate $10.5 billion in new household income, and save consumers $12.2 billion in fuel costs.

Now more than ever, it is important that we remind lawmakers that biofuels are critical to securing an economically robust domestic agricultural supply chain, and also for the broader U.S. economy. With 90 producer plants and 91 businesses that support biofuel production, Growth Energy members drive commerce and job growth from California to New York, and the transition to nationwide E15 can turbocharge that growth while delivering savings for drivers and reducing the amount of fossil fuels in our gas tank.

To support these efforts, we invite readers to visit the new Growth Energy action page focused on restoring year-round sales of E15 and securing strong Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs) under the RFS. We cannot allow Big Oil to eliminate consumer choice at the pump, delay the nation’s clean energy transition, or freeze economic recovery efforts in rural communities. That’s why we’re making sure that decisionmakers in the White House and on Capitol Hill fully appreciate just how important biofuels are to a cleaner, more prosperous future.

Author: Emily Skor
CEO, Growth Energy
[email protected]