Today, Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) and her fellow co-chairs of the House Biofuels Caucus introduced legislation to ensure the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the authority to allow the sale of E15 and higher blends of ethanol to be sold year-round.
The lawmakers unveiled the Year-Round Fuel Choice Act in reaction to a recent D.C. Circuit Court decision which struck down an EPA rule which allowed year-round sale of E15.
“We all know the benefits of E15 – from supporting our farmers and rural communities to accelerating the decarbonization of our transportation sector – and that’s why I’ve been a strong advocate for expanding the availability of E15,” said Rep. Axne. “However, a disappointing court decision earlier this month jeopardizes the ability for our country to fully realize those benefits. I’m proud to work with my colleagues in the House Biofuels Caucus to quickly introduce this necessary legislation to make clear that the EPA has the authority to approve year-round E15.”
The legislation was led by Rep. Angie Craig (D-MN) and Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE), along with Axne, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), and Mark Pocan (D-WI).
On July 2nd, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an EPA rule that allowed retailers to sell E15 blends year-round through the issuance of a Reid Vapor Pressure waiver. The ruling determined the EPA did not have the authority for such action, but said nothing about the quality, safety, or benefits of E15.
The legislation is supported by Growth Energy, the Renewable Fuels Association, and the National Corn Growers Association.
The co-chairs were joined in introducing this legislation by Representatives Randy Feenstra (R-IA), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Jason Smith (R-MO), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Ashley Hinson (R-IA), Ron Estes (R-KS), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Mike Bost (R-IL), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Jim Hagedorn (R-MN), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Jim Baird (R-IN), James Comer (R-KY), Michelle Fishbach (R-MN), Ron Kind (D-WI) and Darin LaHood (R-IL).
Earlier this year, Rep. Axne led the introduction of legislation to expand the use of ethanol and higher blends.
Last month, Axne introduced the Low Carbon Biofuel Credit Act to provide a 5-cent tax credit for E15 and 10-cent credit for higher blends.
Axne is also a lead sponsor of the Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Investment and Market Expansion Act, which would provide infrastructure grants for fuel retailers to expand the use of E15, as well as ensure the EPA repeals E15 labeling requirements that keep drivers from utilizing the cleaner fuel.
Throughout infrastructure negotiations, Axne has repeatedly advocated for the inclusion of biofuels in any infrastructure package that Congress works on, expressing the importance of the industry to rural America and family farmers as well as the significant carbon reduction benefits.