Craig introduces a bill to ensure year-round availability of E15

By Erin Voegele | December 08, 2022

Reps. Angie Craig, D-Minn., and Adrian Smith, R-Neb., on Dec. 7 introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022. The bill aims to allow the year-round sale of E15 nationwide. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., on Nov. 29.

The bill updates current fuel regulations by extending the current 1-pound psi Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver to fuel blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol. The RVP waiver currently applies only to fuel blends with up to 10 percent ethanol. The bill also aims to ensure consistency across the fuel markets and limit disruptions across the national fuel supply chain by prohibiting the removal of the 1-psi waiver for E10 ethanol.

“E15 creates opportunities for our family farmers, supports economic growth in rural America and lowers prices at the pump for Minnesotans – and ensuring this cheaper, biofuel alternative is available year-round is a win-win for all those involved in its production,” Craig said. “I’m proud to have worked with Representative Smith on this bill to support our biofuel producers and farmers – and look forward to getting over the finish line.”

“Year-round E15 is a win-win as it boosts American energy independence and ensures greater affordability and opportunity for consumers as well as producers,” Smith said.  “E15 benefits the agriculture, energy, and transportation sectors. There’s no reason not to extend to E15 the same regulatory relief currently provided to E10, and I thank Senator Fischer for her leadership on this in the Senate and Rep. Craig for her partnership on our bill in the House.”

Cosponsors of the bill currently include Reps. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa; Dusty Johnson, R-S.D.; Dan Kildee, D-Mich.; Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa; Mike Flood, R-Neb.; James R. Baird, R-Ind.; Tracey Mann, R-Kan.; Jim Banks, R-Ind.; Mary Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa; Jake LaTurner, R-Kan.; Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn.; Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa; Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo.; Sam Graves, R-Mo.; Ken Buck, R-Co.; Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.; Brad Finstad, R-Minn.; Ron Estes, R-Kan.; Tim Ryan, D-Ohio; James Comer, R-Ky.; and Jason Smith, R-Mo. 

The American Coalition for Ethanol, Renewable Fuels Association and Growth Energy issued statements in support of the bill.

“Achieving a national, permanent solution for E15 year-round is best done through Congress and we are enormously grateful for the leadership of Reps. Craig, Smith, and other House biofuel supporters for introducing this legislation to clarify the statute ahead of the 2023 summer driving season,” said Brian Jennings, CEO of ACE.

“Cutting the E15 red tape has been an urgent priority for our industry and this legislation would help unleash the cost saving benefits greater access to higher ethanol blends offers to consumers and decarbonize our transportation sector,” he added.

“While the Biden Administration’s emergency waiver this summer showed the benefits of E15 through lower pump prices and greenhouse gas and tailpipe emissions, without this legislation, it is possible to lose E15 sales next summer,” Jennings continued. “ACE looks forward to continuing to help foster bipartisan support for this legislation to ensure E15, a clean and safe fuel with lower RVP emissions than E10 and straight gasoline, can still be sold next summer.”

“Our nation’s ethanol producers, oil refiners, fuel retailers, equipment manufacturers, and farmers have all come together for the first time ever to support legislation that ensures American families can choose lower-cost, lower-carbon E15 at the pump every single day of the year,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the RFA. “We thank Reps. Craig, Smith, and the other renewable fuel supporters in the House for introducing this bill to bring much-needed consistency and stability to the marketplace. This simple and straightforward solution will finally remove a burdensome and nonsensical barrier to the broader deployment of cleaner, more affordable fuels. We are highly encouraged by the broad, diverse and bipartisan support that this effort is receiving, and we urge Congress to move quickly to adopt this commonsense legislation.”

“E15 lowered fuel prices for American drivers by up to a dollar a gallon this past summer,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “Today, we applaud Reps. Craig and Smith for introducing this legislation that would make lower-cost, lower-carbon fuels like E15 available all year long. Not only would a nationwide transition to E15 save consumers over $20 billion a year in annual fuel costs; it would support an additional 188,000 jobs, put an additional $36.3 billion in income back into the pockets of American households, and generate $66.3 billion for the U.S. GDP. We hope all of Congress acts quickly to advance this legislation and deliver a gift to American drivers ahead of the busy holiday travel season.”

A variety of stakeholders, including ethanol producers and oil groups, have spoken also out in support of the bill. More than 250 organizations and companies, including fuel retailer, petroleum refiners, farm groups, ethanol producers, and others, on Dec. 7 sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging passaged of the legislation.