Fischer, Smith, NE Corn Reacts to Year-round E15 Reversal

Fischer, Smith, NE Corn Reacts to Year-round E15 Reversal
Courtesy/U.S. Senator Deb Fischer.
July 3rd, 2021 | Press Release

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, released the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit vacated a rule extending the sale of 15 percent ethanol blends year-round:

“Today’s ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court is a blow to rural America. I have long fought for year-round E-15 sales, which provides certainty and predictability for farmers and ethanol producers and gives consumers more choices at the pump. I will continue to put pressure on the EPA and pursue legislative avenues if necessary to preserve the year-round sales of E-15.”

Senator Fischer has long been an advocate for the year-round sale of E-15 and was the lead sponsor of the bipartisan Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act. It would have allowed retailers across the country to sell E-15 and other higher-ethanol/gasoline fuel blends year-round, increasing regulatory certainty and eliminating confusion at the pump. In June 2019, Senator Fischer accompanied then-President Trump and EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for the official announcement of year-round E-15 Sales in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Nebraska is ranked second in the nation in biofuel production and has 25 operating ethanol plants across the state. These plants produce more than 2 billion gallons of renewable fuel annually and have created more than 1,300 good-paying jobs.

Smith Responds to D.C. Circuit Court Decision Blocking Year-Round E15

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) released the below statement today in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruling against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2019 rule waiving Reid Vapor Pressure (RVP) requirements to allow the sale of ethanol blends in gasoline of 15%, or E15, year-round:

“I am deeply disappointed by the D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling today to roll back the previous administration’s expansion of the RVP waiver for E15,” said Smith. “It defies logic that the EPA could not use its statutory authority to provide a waiver for E10, but not provide one for E15, which has a lower PSI than E10.”

Prior to the 2019 rulemaking by EPA, Smith introduced legislation intended to clarify EPA’s authority to provide a RVP waiver for E15 by requiring the agency to do so.

Nebraska Corn Disappointed with Court’s Decision to Reverse Year-Round E15 Rule

The Nebraska Corn Growers Association (NeCGA) and the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) are disappointed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision today which reversed a 2019 rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that lifted outdated restrictions on E15 (a 15% ethanol blend). EPA’s rule, that went into effect in June 2019, ultimately allowed for E15 sales year-round. If this new reversal by the D.C. Circuit Court comes to fruition, consumers will have reduced access and availability to E15, which will have several negative implications ranging from damage to rural economies to increased greenhouse gas emissions.

“The benefits of E15 are substantial,” said Andy Jobman, president of NeCGA and farmer from Gothenburg. “Almost all fuel in the United States is blended with a 10% blend of ethanol, or E10. By increasing this by only 5%, we’re reducing the amount of toxic chemicals that are added to gasoline to boost octane. Ethanol can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 46% compared to traditional gasoline. As people continue to look at how they can reduce their environmental footprints, ethanol is an important step we can all take now. The EPA got it right in 2019, and NeCGA is going to do everything we can to make sure the rule stands.”

“E15 is the most widely tested fuel ever,” said David Bruntz, chairman of NCB and farmer from Friend. “Yes, as a corn farmer, higher blends of ethanol, like E15, benefit my business and rural Nebraska, but the benefits go far beyond that. Ethanol is a natural octane booster, it saves us all money at the pumps and it’s better for the environment. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals made a huge misstep with today’s decision, as the only group it benefits is big oil. E15 is the right choice for consumers, for farmers and the environment.”

Nebraska Corn, which is comprised of the 21,000+ corn farmers who invest into the Nebraska corn checkoff and the 2,400+ members who are dues-paying members of NeCGA, are working with groups like National Corn Growers Association, Growth Energy, Renewable Fuels Association and others to explore all available legal options to challenge the Court’s decision issued earlier today.

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