BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— At a hearing in Washington today, Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL-D) joined senators from other states in exhibiting bi-partisan leadership in support of removing one of the many regulatory barriers to market access for higher blends of ethanol, in this case, the Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) waiver.
Senator Duckworth is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works (EPW). The Committee’s hearing regarded the Consumer Fuel and Retailer Choice Act (S. 517), a bill that would extend to E15 the same waiver given to E10, allowing retailers to offer E15 without restriction from June 1 to September 15.
EPA approved the use of E15, a fuel with lower RVP emissions than E10 in 2011. Unfortunately, EPA refuses to apply the same RVP standard for E15 that applies to E10, effectively and arbitrarily limiting the sale of E15. This bill provides a legislative fix.
“Bottom line, the renewable fuel standard is a win-win,” Duckworth said during the hearing. “The RFS creates good-paying jobs in Illinois and across the Midwest and spurs further innovation in the biofuel industry while helping reduce our nation’s dangerous dependence on foreign oil. For the sake of consumers nationwide, farmers, and our environment, we should make it easier for people to power their cars with renewable fuel year-round.”
“We commend Senator Duckworth for her unwavering support of ethanol and her efforts to build bipartisan support for this homegrown, renewable fuel,” said Illinois Corn Growers Association President Justin Durdan. “We appreciate her efforts to work with Republican Senator Joni Ernst from Iowa, for example, who is also on the EPW Committee, proving that agriculture issues flow across party lines.”
“The hearing today is a positive first step in securing the opportunity for retailers to choose to offer E15 to their customers year-round. We support passage of this bill by the full Senate,” Durdan said.
“It should be understood that granting the RVP waiver to E15 isn’t just good news for corn farmers and the ethanol industry, it’s also good news for consumers who will benefit from expanded choice at the pump and lower costs, since E15 is many times sold at a lower price than regular unleaded E10,” Durdan added.
ICGA supports the bipartisan legislation S. 517 and the companion legislation in the House, H.R. 1311, to clarify that E15 should be allowed for sale from June 1 through Sept. 15.