New legislation from a bipartisan group of 15 farm-state senators to pave the way for summer sales of higher ethanol blends carries the endorsement of biofuel groups but also the principal organization for the oil and gas industry.
Sens. Deb. Fischer, R-Neb., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., introduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act Tuesday. The bill would lift a regulatory hurdle in the Clean Air Act to allow year-round sales of ethanol blends higher than 10%; a fuel volatility restriction currently keeps E15 from being sold during the summer months.
Biofuel groups partnered with the American Petroleum Institute last week in a letter to Congress calling for such legislation after reports emerged of discussions between Fischer, API and the Renewable Fuels Association. API’s concerns about a petition filed by Midwestern governors to allow for the fuel to be sold in their states during the time of federal restriction may have provided the impetus for compromise with the biofuels industry, but other oil and environmental interests have yet to signal support for the effort.
Fischer and Klobuchar are joined on the legislation by Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Tina Smith, D-Minn., John Thune, R-S.D., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Roger Marshall, R-Kan., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Mike Rounds, R-S.D.
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The bill is endorsed by API, RFA, the National Corn Growers Association, National Farmers Union, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Sorghum Producers, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Growth Energy, American Coalition for Ethanol, SIGMA – America’s Leading Fuel Marketers, National Association of Truck Stop Operators and the National Association of Convenience Stores.
“We’ve been able to bring critical oil/gas, biofuel, ag, and transportation stakeholders to the table around a common-sense solution,” Fischer said in a statement. “With this strong coalition of support, it’s time Congress act to make year-round E15 a reality.”
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