Four of the biofuels industry’s most supportive senators have introduced a piece of legislation that doubles as a wish list for the sector.

The measure, the Next Generation Fuels Act, mirrors identical legislation introduced last year in the House. If passed, the bill would require automakers to optimize their vehicles for an E20 blend by 2026 and an E30 blend by 2031.Most of the gas currently sold in the country is an E10 blend.

“This bill requires the source of added octane to reduce carbon emissions by 40%. Of course, ethanol achieves this goal,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told reporters Tuesday. “By requiring the new high-octane fuel to utilize low-carbon sources, the Next Generation Fuels Act … will increase the amount of ethanol blended into the nation’s fuel supply while significantly lowering vehicle emissions.”

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Grassley introduced the bill Tuesday with his fellow Iowa Republican Joni Ernst and Democrats Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. Asked about the prospects for consideration of the bill, Grassley said so far it “hasn’t been discussed, and normally this stuff doesn’t get discussed until the end of the year and you have extender bills up.”  

The House version of the bill, introduced August 2021, was led by Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.; that bill, supported by various groups throughout the biofuels industry, has yet to be heard in committee or brought up for a vote.  

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