Durbin, Thune, Duckworth Lead Bipartisan Push to Utilize E15, Restore American Energy Independence
The bipartisan letter urges Biden to prioritize E15 fuel, utilize American agriculture as an energy solution
WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD), both members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, today led a letter signed by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and a bipartisan group of their colleagues urging President Biden to permit the year-round sale of E15 fuel in order to reduce the United States’ reliance on foreign sources of energy. The Senators note that American biofuels are a clean and reliable energy solution that will help drive down fuel costs for working families who are facing record-high prices at the pump.
“As the United States joins global partners in seeking to hold accountable and isolate the Russian Federation for its unprovoked assault on Ukraine, we must deny Russia’s economic lifeblood of energy dominance,” the Senators wrote. “This will require tapping every accessible contribution of American energy technology. As you know, American biofuels are one such readily available energy solution that offer consumers affordable and cleaner options at the pump.”
“The message from both sides of the aisle in Congress is clear – we need more homegrown, low-carbon solutions to address rising gas prices and shield American drivers from the continued volatility in the global oil market,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy.“Biofuels are a ready solution to help provide consumers with lower costs at the pump. We welcome Sen. Thune and Durbin’s bipartisan letter to President Biden calling for increased access to higher blends of biofuels, like E15, across the nation and throughout the year to displace a greater share of imported oil.”
“As American families continue to experience unprecedented pain at the pump, we thank these Senators for encouraging the Administration to embrace homegrown renewable fuels as a lower-cost, lower-carbon alternative to Russian petroleum imports,” said Geoff Cooper, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association. “Ethanol is $1 per gallon cheaper than gasoline today, meaning higher blends like E15 can immediately help put a lid on surging gas prices and deliver immediate economic relief to households across the country. The emergency action recommended by these Senators would remove a key roadblock that restricts consumer access to lower-priced E15, and we encourage EPA to immediately act upon this request.”
This letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Ben Sasse (R-NE), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
Full text of the letter is available here and below:
March 9, 2022
Dear President Biden:
We write to request your urgent consideration of a no-cost, immediate step your administration can take to help curb rising domestic energy costs and displace banned Russian oil imports. Specifically, we request that you utilize any administrative authority to permit the sale of E15 fuel over the 2022 summer driving season, extending the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) waiver from June 1 through September 15.
As the United States joins global partners in seeking to hold accountable and isolate the Russian Federation for its unprovoked assault on Ukraine, we must deny Russia’s economic lifeblood of energy dominance. This will require tapping every accessible contribution of American energy technology. As you know, American biofuels are one such readily available energy solution that offer consumers affordable and cleaner options at the pump. Wholesale ethanol has recently traded for approximately $1.20 cents cheaper than gasoline per gallon, a discount that is passed on to consumers and amplified in higher blends like E15, E30, and E85.
Additionally, higher blends of biofuels, as well as biodiesel, renewable diesel, and sustainable aviation fuel, displace a greater share of imported oil each time they are chosen by consumers. Preserving the option for American drivers to select E15 throughout the busy summer driving season will benefit our families and businesses while blunting a vital source of funding for Vladimir Putin’s campaign of destruction. Additionally, committing to this policy now will send an important signal of certainty and stability to fuel retailers currently or considering selling E15 in the year ahead.
We know this is but one energy solution at your disposal that can contribute to our nation’s broader response to Russia’s malign aggressions, but it is a foundational way to leverage the strength of American agriculture to provide energy security for consumers and show that the United States is committed to lessening our dangerous dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Thank you for your swift consideration of this request.
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