Apr 17, 2024 | Press Releases

Nunn Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Implement Year-Round E15

“Nunn fights for families and farmers while Administration continues to put them last”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Zach Nunn (IA-03) today introduced bipartisan legislation to implement year-round E15 sales. The Year-Round E15 Act, which is co-led by U.S. Representatives Adrian Smith (NE-03), Nikki Budzinski (IL-13), Brad Finstad (MN-01), Eric Sorensen (IL-17), and Don Bacon (NE-02), would allow for sales of E15 in 2024 across eight Midwestern states. 
“Since day one, I’ve been fighting for year-round E15. Unfortunately, this Administration has repeatedly put America’s producers and families behind as they stubbornly opposed E15, which is good for the economy, good for the climate, and good for families,” said Rep. Nunn. “This bill wouldn’t be necessary if the Administration had just done the right thing to begin with, but this is a critical step to provide certainty for farmers, producers, and families who will benefit from less expensive fuel.” 
Nearly every other row of corn in Iowa is used to create biofuels. In 2022, the average price of a gallon of diesel fuel increased by 95 percent and the average price of a gallon of gasoline reached its highest level ever recorded. In the same year, the ethanol industry provided nearly 80,000 U.S. jobs, $34.8 billion in household income, and contributed $57 billion to the nation’s GDP.  
“Biofuels bring down fuel costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, cut carbon emissions and support critical markets for Illinois’ family farmers,” said Rep. Budzinski. “I was glad to see the Environmental Protection Agency take evidence-based action to allow the permanent sale of E15 in Illinois and across the Midwest, but this long-awaited action doesn’t take effect until 2025. Today, I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation with my friend, Congressman Zach Nunn, that will address this gap and allow for the sale of cheaper, cleaner fuel for Heartland consumers this summer.” 
“As co-chair of the Biofuels Caucus, I have long supported year-round availability of E15 as part of an all-of-the-above approach to energy abundance,” said Rep. Smith. “Our producers, retailers, and consumers all stand to benefit greatly from the flexibility and cost-savings offered by E15. Eliminating this red tape to provide regulatory certainty for growers and options for Americans in serious need of relief at the pump is a no-brainer. I thank Reps. Nunn, Budzinski, Finstad, Sorensen, and Bacon for championing this issue.” 
Ethanol also reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52 percent compared to gasoline. On average, biodiesel and renewable diesel provide a 74 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Ethanol reduced U.S. crude oil imports by 600 million barrels in 2022.  
“The ethanol industry is a driving force for southern Minnesota’s economy and provides a cleaner, low-cost energy source for consumers at the pump,” said Rep. Finstad. “Though the EPA recently announced the year-round sale of E15 in the Midwest starting in 2025, farmers, ethanol producers, and American’s pocketbooks are footing the bill for this multi-year delay. I’m proud to help introduce this legislation which will allow for the sale of E15 this summer.” 
“Nebraska ranks second in ethanol production. When the nation runs on ethanol – year-round – Nebraska communities and our environment benefit,” said Rep. Bacon. “This bill is a step in the right direction to alleviating the pain at the gas pump, to energy independence, and to supporting Nebraska’s ethanol industry. I appreciate Rep. Nunn’s leadership on this incredibly important issue. Year-round E15 is good for Nebraska and good for the nation.” 
In April of 2022, eight Midwestern governors, led by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, submitted a letter urging the Biden Administration to allow year-round sales of E15. Under current law, the EPA is required to act upon this request within 90 days. The EPA waited until March 6, 2023, just days before biofuel producers would have halted production, to issue a waiver for E15 sales for the summer of 2023. 
“In Congress, I am doing everything I can to lower costs for working families, from reducing food prices at the grocery store to paying less to fill up your tank,” said Rep. Sorensen. “Through expanding the sale of E15, we can lower prices at the pump, give our corn farmers the support they need, and make sure our economy is sustainable for generations to come. I am proud to join this bipartisan effort with Congressman Nunn to introduce the Year-Round E15 Act so we can help our neighbors, farmers, and producers in the heartland who need it most.” 
“The ethanol industry greatly appreciates Representative Nunn’s efforts to ensure Midwest drivers have continued access to lower-cost, cleaner-burning E15 this summer driving season,” said Geoff Cooper, Renewable Fuels Association President. 
“While our focus remains moving E15 forward with a nationwide, year-round solution, we can’t afford to take any steps back this year,” said Monte Shaw, Executive Director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “The IRFA appreciates Rep. Nunn’s leadership to ensure that Iowa retailers and consumers will continue to have access to lower-cost E15 as prices begin their inexorable summer hike. Congress should immediately pass this much-needed stopgap bill and then break the logjam for a permanent solution.” 
On February 22, 2024, the EPA issued its final ruling to allow for the year-round sale of E15 beginning April 28, 2025, a year after the Biden Administration’s initial proposed implementation date of April 28, 2024. By delaying the implementation, the EPA is punishing American families and farmers who have already faced record inflation, skyrocketing fuel prices, and uncertainty in the market due to the Administration’s economic policies. In response to this decision, Rep. Nunn led a letter with the Iowa Delegation urging the EPA to approve permanent year-round sales in 2024.  
“Consumers need access to E15 now, not in 2025,” said Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy. “This lower carbon, more affordable fuel choice saves drivers money while simultaneously benefiting America’s rural communities and should be available to consumers without restrictions. We thank Rep. Nunn for his focus on this issue, and for his unwavering support for E15 and Iowa’s biofuels sector.” 
The bipartisan Year-Round E15 Act would extend the Reid vapor pressure (RVP) volatility waiver to ethanol blends above 10 percent to allow for the year-round sale of E15 in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin for 2024.  
Text of the bill can be found here.