Last month was marked by momentum from both the new Congress and our NCGA team. The reintroduction of bills that advance ethanol as an energy, climate and economic solution and our ongoing congressional education campaigns continue to keep NCGA an active voice when it comes to promoting renewable fuels. We are advancing our ethanol policy priorities, but there is much more to be done. Here is the latest on our efforts and what is to come for NCGA.
Next Generation Fuels Act Reintroduction. Recently, the U.S. Senate and House reintroduced legislation that has been a top advocacy priority for NCGA and state corn grower associations – the Next Generation Fuels Act. This bipartisan bill would establish a clean, high-octane standard for fuel to enable automakers to deploy advanced engines that improve vehicle fuel efficiency and cut emissions, taking advantage of higher ethanol blends. Our message to Congress is that the Next Generation Fuels Act will lower fuel prices, reduce emissions and maintain a wider range of future vehicle and fuel choices. Thank you to the leaders on this legislation for supporting our nation’s clean energy future and a level playing field in transportation.
Consumer Fuel and Retailer Choice Act Reintroduction. In mid-March, bipartisan House and Senate members reintroduced the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, legislation that would ensure permanent full market access to low-cost, low-emission E15 fuel, often marketed as Unleaded 88. We thank our leaders who led and supported the charge to put the Consumer Fuel and Retailer Choice Act back on the table.
While we continue to work with supporters in Congress on enacting this permanent solution, NCGA and state corn grower associations are also advocating for the Environmental Protection Agency to use its existing authority to prevent a disruption in E15 availability this summer. The agency used this emergency authority successfully last year to increase the fuel supply, maintain access to lower-cost fuel and reduce emissions with E15. With similar fuel market conditions expected this summer, we’re asking EPA to act again to keep E15 in the market while Congress works toward a permanent fix.
What We’ve Been Working On. NCGA continues to educate policymakers on the importance of ethanol as a long-term energy and climate solution. Through our ongoing advertising campaigns, we are meeting key audiences where they are at and calling on them to support expanded ethanol access. On Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, users are driven to our ethanol landing page and blog posts like this one to learn more about NCGA and our advocacy efforts. Through a Focus Index sponsored piece on POLITICO, we lay out the steps Congress can take to ensure Americans have greater access to ethanol’s benefits.
Even with the progress of the last few weeks, there is still much work to be done on these and other issues. To stay up to date on our efforts and do your part to support beneficial policies for biofuels, text COB to 52886.
Bergren is NCGA’s director of public policy and renewable fuels.