U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a longtime member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, joined President Trump at the White House for today’s announcement that the administration will initiate a rulemaking process to permit the year-round sale of E15 fuel (15 percent ethanol-blended fuel) in the United States, a win for consumer choice and energy security that Thune has sought for 11 years, including significant and ongoing engagement with the current administration.
“After spending more than a decade advocating for higher blends of ethanol, I want to thank President Trump for upholding his commitment to America’s farmers,” said Thune. “Using homegrown resources like ethanol to keep America’s economy moving forward is a common-sense, true win-win solution.
“As I have discussed personally with the president and members of his administration on multiple occasions, today’s announcement will be welcome news to farmers throughout the Midwest and Great Plains. Since year-round E15 sales would naturally help lower fuel prices, this also means consumers across the country will have more affordable choices at the pump, in addition to reinforcing American energy dominance.”
Thune first called for a waiver process to permit higher blends of ethanol in 2007. Most recently, in April 2018, Thune joined 17 of his Senate colleagues in writing to then-Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to highlight the benefits of E15, and they encouraged him to address the Reid Vapor Pressure issue that was preventing year-round E15 sales. He also wrote Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler in August 2018 to reiterate his support for biofuels.
Additionally, Thune has actively sought transparency with, and ultimately a resolution to, the EPA’s unprecedented use of small refiner exemptions from the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which have kept billions of gallons of ethanol from being blended and have distorted markets. Year-round E15 sales will lower RFS compliance costs for all parties and inject stability and certainty into the ethanol market.
Click here for a recent timeline of Thune’s activity and commitment to the approval of year-round E15 fuel.