President Biden announced today that his administration would use existing authority to prevent drivers from losing access to lower-cost and lower-emission E15, a higher ethanol blend often marketed as Unleaded 88.
The president made the announcement at a POET ethanol production facility in Menlo, Iowa, and NCGA President Chris Edgington participated in the event.
“Corn growers thank President Biden for ensuring drivers continue to have access to a lower-cost fuel choice and acknowledging how renewable ethanol helps reduce prices, lower emissions and improve our nation’s energy security,” said Edgington. “Farmers are proud to contribute to cleaner, less expensive fuel choices.”
A 2021 court decision resulting from oil industry efforts to limit the growth of higher ethanol blends was set to end full-market access for E15 beginning this summer, absent action from the Biden administration or Congress.
With a host of factors driving up gas prices, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NCGA and farmer leaders across the country asked the president to extend the use of E15 to hold down prices at the pump. Farmers also asked their Members of Congress to support the continued availability of E15, sending them thousands of messages in recent weeks and backing bipartisan Senate and House advocacy for the action announced today.
Ethanol has been priced an average of 80 cents less per gallon than unblended gasoline at wholesale through March, and drivers currently save up to 20 cents or more per gallon where E15 is available.
Ethanol adds billions of gallons to the U.S. fuel supply every year, lowering demand for high-cost oil while increasing the total fuel available to consumers. Corn farmers’ increased productivity and efficiency have resulted in higher yields, using fewer resources to meet food, feed and fuel needs to help keep prices down.
Moreover, allowing continued E15 sales through the summer keeps a lower-emission fuel in the marketplace. E15 has lower volatility than regular fuel, which is a 10% ethanol blend, and using E15 results in lower evaporative and exhaust emissions, important during the summer driving season.
Farmers stand ready to continue working with President Biden, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Congress on energy and environmental solutions that ethanol provides, Edgington said.