February 13, 2023

Duckworth, Ernst Urge EPA to Remove Regulatory Barrier on Ethanol, Provide Certainty for Farmers and Consumers


[WASHINGTON, D.C.]—U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) led a bipartisan, bicameral letter to the Biden administration requesting they remove a regulatory barrier for gasoline-ethanol blends—like E15—by expeditiously implementing the long-awaited request of Midwest governors. This move would allow their states to sell E15 year-round, providing much-needed certainty to farmers, producers and consumers who are directly impacted by the decisions and actions of the Biden administration.

“Relying on an annual emergency waiver is not a permanent solution for fuel retailers, consumers, or the environment. By working swiftly to finalize the Governors’ requests, you will bring much needed certainty to our corn growers, fuel retailers, and consumers to enjoy the clean-burning, lower cost benefits of year-round E15 through the 2023 summer driving season,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter supports a common-sense action that would fulfill the request from several Midwestern governors—including Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker—who formally urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove the 1-psi volatility waiver and allow their states to sell E15 year-round. On December 7, 2022, the draft rule from EPA, which would approve the Governors’ request, appeared on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) docket. The Midwest states’ Attorneys General (AGs) have sent a follow up letter to the EPA and OMB urging them to quickly finalize this rulemaking to prevent future harm to the industry.

To help increase the availability of E15 biofuels, Duckworth helped introduce the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act of 2022 to allow the year-round, nationwide sale of ethanol blends higher than 10%. Duckworth additionally helped introduced the Home Front Energy Independence Act to ban Russian oil and expand use and production of biofuel that’s grown in the American heartland, while providing American families with a less expensive option to fuel their vehicles.

Joining Duckworth and Ernst in the letter are U.S. Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Brown (D-OH), Fischer (R-NE), Grassley (R-IA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Marshall (R-KS), Ricketts (R-NE) and Smith (D-MN) and U.S. Representatives Alford (R-MO-04), Bost (R-IL-12), Budzinski (D-IL-13), Craig (D-MN-02), Davids (D-KS-03), Emmer (R-MN-06), Feenstra (R-IA-04), Finstad (R-MN-01), Fischbach (R-MN-07), Flood (R-NE-01), Hinson (R-IA-02), Johnson (R-SD), Kaptur (D-OH-09), LaHood (R-IL-16), Mann (R-KS-01), Miller-Meeks (R-IA-01), Nunn (R-IA-03), Pocan (D-WI-02), Smith (R-NE-03), Sorensen (D-IL-17) and Stauber (R-MN-08).

The full text of the letter is available here.