In 2022, the Low Carbon Future is Here

Ethanol is a climate solution that's affordable, available today and compatible with our existing auto fleet. Harnessing the power of higher biofuel blends is the most practical way for the U.S. to start decarbonizing our transportation sector now.
By Emily Skor | December 23, 2021

After almost two years of uncertainty amidst a global pandemic, consumers are eager to look ahead to a post-pandemic world with fewer restrictions and more opportunities. For American drivers, that means more travel. For the biofuel industry, it means a resurgence in demand for more affordable fuels that can drastically reduce carbon emissions and help us move towards our nation’s goal of a net-zero future by 2050.

2022 marks a fresh opportunity to take advantage of all the tools at our disposal, and that means making biofuels a priority both in policy conversations and in the fuel mix. Gone are the days of searching for low-carbon solutions, because biofuels are the effective solution available today. The low-carbon future is here.

If we want to decarbonize the transportation sector, America needs biofuels. Even accounting for the projected growth of electric vehicles, the Energy Information Administration indicates that the vast majority of cars on the road will run on liquid fuels for decades to come. Higher blends of low-carbon ethanol can be used immediately in our current auto fleet to accelerate the transition to a 100 percent renewable energy future.

A nationwide transition to higher biofuel blends like E15 could reduce our carbon emissions by more than 17.62 million tons, the equivalent of taking 3.85 million cars off the road each year. By making a simple switch at the pump and increasing the share of biofuels in our fuel, we can drive the transition to a low-carbon future, protecting our climate and human health.

Keeping that in mind, our team at Growth Energy will build on the zero-carbon momentum driven by this administration’s emphasis on addressing climate change. If they are serious about making changes to reduce carbon emissions, they need to get serious about biofuels.

On this front, our priorities are clear. First and foremost, we will continue to fight for the integrity of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), ensuring that it is administered as intended and that blending requirements of low-carbon, renewable fuel at 15 billion gallons are upheld. Without a strong RFS in 2022 and beyond, our farmers and producers will not have the certainty they need to produce enough homegrown biofuels to fuel a low-carbon transition.

To further drive down carbon emissions, we are fighting for incentives like the 45Q tax incentive, the Clean Fuel Production Credit, and equitable sustainable aviation fuel incentives that provide producers with strong policy signals to further reduce carbon intensity and expand into new markets. We also need voluntary conservation incentives that will drive progress across the entire agricultural supply chain. As biofuel producers capture the value of low-carbon farming practices, farmers would also have the opportunity to benefit in the form of premium prices for their commodities.

In addition, Growth Energy will accelerate the nationwide push toward higher biofuel blends like E15 through support for investments in infrastructure that expand consumer access and offer motorists more affordable, earth-friendly fuel options at the pump. At the same time, policymakers must move quickly to ensure consumers have uninterrupted access to E15, especially in the wake of a court ruling last year curtailing year-round sales of E15 in conventional fuel areas during the summer.

As we embark on a new year, we want to make sure the message is clear: biofuels remain the premier climate solution that is affordable for motorists, available today, and compatible with our existing auto fleet. For the Biden administration to decarbonize the transportation sector, we must harness the power of higher biofuel blends. With an increased share of biofuels in the mix, we have the power to reduce emissions, drive the transition to a low-carbon future, and bring more clean energy jobs to rural America.

Author: Emily Skor
CEO, Growth Energy
202.545.4000
eskor@growthenergy.org