US senator submits bill to expand E15 gasoline sales, with support from oil corporation

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A billboard advertising E15, a gasoline with 15% ethanol, is seen at a gas station in Clive, Iowa, U.S., May 17, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young/File Photo

By Stephanie Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. senators from Nebraska and Minnesota introduced legislation on Tuesday that would expand nationwide sales of E15, a gasoline with a higher percentage of ethanol blends, after the first. received support for the bill from an oil industry trade group. Senator Deb Fischer from Nebraska told Reuters.

The legislation, introduced by Fischer and Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota and supported by the American Petroleum Institute (API), would mark a huge victory for the ethanol industry and corn farmers, who have been Tried to expand E15 sales but ran into obstacles.

While it is not yet known whether the bill will receive the support needed to pass both the House and Senate to become law, the oil industry’s backing has lifted a notable political obstacle. .

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) smog regulations currently limit summer sales of E15, although research has shown that higher percentage blends may not do the job. increased smog compared to a 10% blend known as E10 which is currently sold year-round.

Reuters reported this month that API has begun working with biofuel industry groups on legislation after governors from major Midwest corn-producing states earlier this year asked the EPA for permission. expanding E15 sales in their states. The governors’ proposal raised concerns in the oil industry about fuel regulations that differ from state to state.

“We have good support,” Fischer told Reuters. “When you look at the impact it’s going to have, especially in the central US, the Midwest and parts of the south, I think that’s hugely important.”

Fischer and Klobuchar’s law, if passed, would nullify the governors’ request and avoid a patchy E15 expansion, Fischer said.

“By allowing year-round national sales of E15 while maintaining access to a lower ethanol blend, this bipartisan legislation strengthens fuel supply chain reliability and ensures consumers American consumers have access to the fuel they depend on every day,” said Will Hupman, API’s vice president of downstream policy.

The bill also received the backing of Senator Kevin Cramer from North Dakota, a co-sponsor of the bill. Fischer said Cramer’s support is significant because North Dakota is one of the top oil-producing states.

Organizations including API, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the National Farmers’ Association wrote to congressional leaders this month urging them to pass legislation aimed at expanding E15 sales. nationwide.

“We thank Sens. Fischer, Klobuchar and other renewable fuels advocates in the Senate for introducing this legislation, bringing much-needed consistency and stability to the market,” said RFA President Geoff Cooper said following Tuesday’s announcement of the law.

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