Kansas Corn growers applaud the reintroduction of legislation in the U.S. House and Senate that would provide a permanent, nationwide solution to ensure uninterrupted market access for low-cost, low-emission E15, often marketed as Unleaded 88.
According to the Kansas Corn Growers Association, introduced by 35 bipartisan Congress members, the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act would ensure continued E15 sales year-round and keep this lower-emission fuel in the marketplace. As of now, Kansas Senators Moran and Marshall and Representative LaTurner have signed on to the bill, showing their support.
“Losing year-round availability of E15 not only hurts Kansas farmers and ethanol producers, but also consumers already feeling the economic impact during this time of high inflation,” says Kansas Corn CEO, Greg Krissek. “We need year-round access to E15, and that means we need the support of our elected officials both at the state and national levels. More than 120 stations across our state either made the investment to offer E15 or are in the process of installing the infrastructure currently. Many of these stations are small Kansas-owned businesses that will be adversely affected if year-round E15 is not protected.”
A 2021 court decision ended year-round E15 market access established by the previous administration. However, last year as the nation faced fuel supply challenges, President Biden directed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to use existing agency authority to prevent a disruption in E15 availability between June 1 and Sept. 15. As a result, continued availability of E15 increased the nation’s fuel supply and saved drivers an average of 16 cents per gallon nationwide during those three months, for a total savings of $57 million to U.S. consumers.
The EPA has approved E15 for use in all vehicles 2001 and newer, equal to 96 percent of vehicles now on the road. Recently, the EPA proposed to implement a plan from eight Midwest governors to require lower-volatility gasoline in their states aimed at ensuring drivers in those states continued to have year-round access to the 15 percent ethanol blend. However, the EPA has delayed implementation of the plan until 2024, creating more unnecessary market uncertainty. Kansas Governor, Laura Kelly had originally signed the Midwest governors’ letter to EPA, but removed Kansas in July, citing concerns that the Missouri governor had not signed on. Missouri has since joined the letter, but Kansas has not yet returned to the coalition.
The National Corn Growers Association joins Kansas and other state corn associations in support of yesterday’s announcement from Congress.
“The choice of cleaner and less expensive E15 at the pump saves drivers millions of dollars a year and increases the fuel supply to improve our energy security,” said Tom Haag, National Corn Growers Association President. “We thank these bipartisan members of Congress for once again leading on this needed solution to resolve an outdated barrier to consumer choice. There’s no reason for market access to a safe, clean and affordable fuel option to remain in question, and we urge Congress to pass this commonsense legislation.”
The Kansas Corn Growers Association represents its members in legislative and regulatory issues and promotes corn and corn products.
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Kansas Corn Growers Association